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Students Race for Gold at the Virtual JetToy Competition Supported by Kia Georgia

Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Laughs and cheers filled classrooms, hallways and gymnasiums last week as balloon-powered toy cars raced across the floor. Nearly 600 elementary students from nine schools in Georgia and Alabama had fun competing in the first Virtual JetToy Competition

The event brought together students, teachers and volunteers for a friendly competition where students made balloon-powered toy cars that met specific performance criteria on distance, accuracy and creativity. As part of our A World In Motion® (AWIM®) program, teachers guided their students with core scientific concepts like jet propulsion, friction, air resistance and design to help them build an optimal racer.

2021 Virtual JetToy Competition Winners


  • Gold: Hillcrest Elementary – Team: Gooder than Good
  • Silver: Huguley Elementary – Team: Fire and Water Fighters
  • Bronze: Hillcrest Elementary – Team: EJ


  • Gold: Creekside – Team: Dora and the Explorers 66
  • Silver: Creekside – Team: The Glizzy Mobile
  • Bronze: Creekside – Team: Right on Track


  • Gold: Fairfax Elementary – Team: A.Floyd
  • Silver: Huguley Elementary – Team: Meteorites
  • Bronze: Creekside – Team: The Wheel of Fortune

Lori Gatmaitan, the director of the SAE Foundation, said: “Despite the current challenges facing our learning environments, the generous investment from Kia Georgia enables the AWIM programs to inspire and educate more students in Georgia and Alabama schools with hands-on STEM learning experiences, like the Virtual JetToy Competition.” 

This competition is a new twist on an annual event as part of our longtime partnership with Kia Georgia supporting community STEM outreach. Over the last seven years, employee volunteers lent their time to serve as track judges at the in-person competitions and volunteered in the classroom prior to and following the event. The AWIM programming combined with industry knowledge from Kia Georgia volunteers provides students across four counties (Harris County, Meriwether County and Troup Country in Georgia, and Chambers County in Alabama) invaluable knowledge they can use to build future careers.

“Kia’s partnership with the SAE Foundation allows students to explore innovation in movement that inspires them to ask ‘what if?’,” said Chris Miller, chief administrative officer of Kia Georgia. “Even in a year when we could not get together in person, it is a testament to the students, teachers and administrators that so many were able to participate virtually and compete at such a high level.”