The GRADD-NVBAA STEM Discovery Zone is poised for an unforgettable comeback at the 2023 National Championship Air Races. This year is set to be particularly monumental as it marks the final year of air racing in Reno, making it an extraordinary occasion for engaging in unique STEM activities designed for everyone, regardless of their age.

The hands-on activities are meticulously designed to enlighten, captivate, and spur the future trailblazers in aviation and innovation through the lens of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). They also provide a nudge towards the exploration of rewarding opportunities in the aviation and aerospace industries.

The Reno Air Racing Association is overjoyed to welcome back GRADD, a pioneer in drone technology and training, and the Nevada Business Aviation Association (NVBAA) STEM Discovery Zone to the Air Races for the eighth year in a row. The GRADD-NVBAA STEM Discovery Zone, known for being one of the largest and most sophisticated and fun STEM attractions in the country, plays a pivotal role in attracting youth from Nevada and the entire United States, as well as race fans worldwide, towards the wonders of scientific exploration and aviation technology.

Led by a passionate and innovative team of engineers, pilots, and military veterans, the STEM Discovery Zone promises to make learning an exciting and fun-filled experience at this historic STEM-based event.

The STEM Discovery Zone, prominently situated right next to the Air Traffic Control Tower, will be open from 8 am to 4 pm throughout the race week.

The STEM Zone’s appeal is not limited to just the young ones. All attendees of the Air Races are invited to experience the amazing activities and to receive their very own FREE copy of the 2022 Pilot Handbook, the 2021 RACE GUIDE, and many other free giveaways.

This year’s STEM Discovery Zone will be teeming with attractions, including an outdoor netted Drone Zone, a digital aviation treasure hunt via the GRADD’s augmented reality app (DISCO3D), a vibrant Pilot Handbook, a comprehensive STEM Discovery Zone RACE GUIDE, drone flight demos, expert talks, and much more. The popular flight simulators will also return to the STEM Discovery Zone this year, featuring Mission Plan Plus.

All young participants in the STEM Discovery Zone will enjoy complimentary access to the 2023 National Championship Air Races from Wednesday through Sunday. GRADD and NVBAA share Reno Air Races’ vision of empowering the next generation of the STEM workforce, using the latest technology to impart critical thinking and problem-solving skills through engaging hands-on projects and professional FAA drone pilot training initiatives.

Thanks to the efforts of GRADD and NVBAA, students, school administrators, teachers, parents, and youth groups and schools from all across Nevada, Northern California, and Utah will get to immerse themselves in an enriching, STEM-focused aviation education and technology discovery event during this epic final year of air racing in Reno. For more information, please contact: [email protected].


  • Inspiring presentations by expert pilots and engineers in the aviation industry
  • A printed full-color Pilot Handbook – “Angle of Attack”
  • A printed full-color GRADD-NVBAA STEM Discovery Zone RACE GUIDE
  • An all-new Flight Simulator Zone – Mission Plan Plus
  • A digital augmented reality (AR) treasure hunt via the awesome GRADD DISCO3D App, exclusive to the Reno Air Races
  • An open-air netted Drone Zone for drone flight demonstrations and drone selfies
  • A 3D printed item display area featuring a 3D printer as well as printed 3D models of a five-foot-tall Saturn V Rocket, the Rome Colosseum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Darth Vader, the Mars Rover and several aircraft 3D models, such as the F-22, F-86, A-10, and SR-71
  • AR-compatible Aviation Collector Card sets and passports for the GRADD AR iOS and GRADD AR+ Android App
  • Plus FREE Aviation stickers for all youth participants

GRADD and NVBAA’s joint mission is to empower the next generation of Nevada’s STEM workforce and to educate Nevada’s youth through applications of the latest technology and teach critical-thinking and problem-solving skills through collaborative, hands-on projects and workforce training initiatives. Thanks to these organizations, students from all across Nevada, northern California and southern Utah, school administrators, teachers, parents, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Civil Air Patrol Cadets will get to experience a rich STEM-oriented aviation education and learning zone.

To register your school or youth group for free passes to the GRADD-NVBAA STEM Discovery Zone at the STIHL National Championship Air Races please click below:

For more information about the educational programs from GRADD and NVBAA, please contact [email protected].