By Hannah Becker, MCPSS student intern
While many teenagers are enjoying summer at home or the beach, one group of students is spending part of their break at B.C. Rain High School building an airplane.
Students at B.C. Rain’s Aviation and Aerospace Signature Academy began building the components of the Van’s RV 12 two-seat, single-engine plane during the school year. Now they and students from other high schools and middle schools are volunteering one day a week at the school to finish assembling the plane.
“My favorite part about the whole process is learning about the different parts of the plane,” said Shakera Winbush, a rising junior at B.C. Rain who says she wants to become an engineer.
On Wednesday, one group of students worked on rivets in the fuselage, while another assembled landing gear and two other students assembled a canopy. The students are working under the guidance of B.C. Rain aerospace instructor Brett Davis and a group of volunteers and interns from Airbus.
The students are learning skills that they might one day use in a career in the aerospace industry – possibly right here in Mobile, as the city is becoming a hub of the industry thanks in part to the location of an Airbus assembly line here, along with several other aviation-related businesses. Davis said the project also teaches students how to think critically and solve problems.
“My favorite part of teaching is seeing the kids have fun while learning,” he said. “The kids are learning self-motivation. The kids figure out how to build on their own.
“That’s what we’re trying to teach them – how to work through problems.”
When the plane is completed, the students will have an opportunity to fly in it, or a plane like it.