I used to teach evening class in modelling. Almost all the kids wanted to assemble R/C cars and since they all seemed to have the money for it I let them. Only one kid wanted to build a plane and he was already flying R/C.
Hell bent on teaching some basic aerodynamics I bought AMA Dart kits for all of them and had them build the kits. We then had an "all up, lat down" competition and I actually think they enjoyed the challenge. For Christmas I brought a bunch of 1cm thick sheets of styrofoam and told them to build "something that could fly". A price was awarded for best flight. Big success.
However I think that the reason they found it fun was that they would get a finished result in just one evening - no one cold be persuaded to make something that might take a whole winter.
Practical engineering skill are fast disappering from modern schools and the question is; do we really need them? I think we do, but that is just my opinion.
I don't think aeromodellers will become extinct but consumerism will probably make the hobby more of a "buy and throw away" affair.
To Mark: Have a nice Xmas, both of you!