By AAE Students:
Beginning in January 2016, with some help from EAA Chapter 166, students of the CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering RV-12 Build Team are being driven by two forces: aspiration to expand our knowledge and skill of building and flying an aircraft and the desire to have a tangible finished product to call our own. The team’s goal is to have our RV-12 flying by June 2019, but the true reward is much more valuable! Each member gains invaluable experience that each member takes from the academic setting and apply to the real world. In the team's first year, it was student-led by a group of seven officers led by Anna Schmitt. By the end of our first year, no teachers or adults had touched plane parts with the exception of Mr. Socolosky, Mr. Madore and Mrs. Manzer, the adult teachers/advisors of the team. Because students are given the chance to learn in an informal academic setting, the skills they acquire will go far beyond what standardized tests can assess.These are the skills that will greatly benefit them in their future careers. The officers are the main leaders of the team but each member has a necessary job to do. The safety of the pilot and passengers rely on the fact that everyone working on the plane, strives to do their best.
Now, in our second year of the build, with our new Build Team Captain, Daniel Royer, the team still wishes to have the build completed by 2019, but without the training and retention of new members, this may not happen. For that reason, middle schoolers as well as freshman and sophomores are being trained to to work on the RV-12 build. They are being taught principles of safety and how to use tools correctly. Through the build team, students are gaining skills and qualities that will surely last them a lifetime. These include learning hands-on manufacturing skills such as riveting, dimpling, deburring, countersinking, drilling, and much more. The students also get to learn principles of leadership and other core values that they will rely on for a long time. The students and supervisors are working hard to learn these skills and apply them effectively, so that the build can be done in a safe and time effective manner.