Oak Hills Student Wins Airport Design Challenge

Zach MorrisCongratulations to Oak Hills Elementary 4th grader, Zach Morris, and his Firehawks team for winning 1st place in the FAA STEM Airport Minecraft Build Challenge. The five-week challenge introduced students to airport design and engineering. Teams were tasked with building a virtual replica of a real life airport within the video game, Minecraft. Zach and four of his hockey teammates took 1st place in the K-5 Non-Primary Airport category for their recreation of Flying Cloud airport in Eden Prairie.

Over the course of the five-week challenge, the boys were able to work on their project together, online from their homes. They re-created every detail of Flying Cloud airport, from the runways to the buildings and hangars. 

WATCH: Team Firehawks Re-Creation of Flying Cloud Airport


Teams from all over the country, and some international students, participated in the challenge. The teams were judged for their virtual airports’ technical accuracy, creativity, innovation and the knowledge of the airports that students demonstrated in their creations.

The FAA broadcast the awards presentation on YouTube on July 2, 2020. Blaine Peterson, manager of Flying Cloud airport, was one of the officials who congratulated team Firehawks on their re-creation of his airport. 

“I wanted to congratulate team Firehawks in creating such an amazing mirror-image of the Flying Cloud airport,” said Peterson at the awards presentation. “I am truly amazed at the level of detail, from the runway designation markings to the touch down zone on the runways.”

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