Senior Joshua Engberg of Westosha Central High School is the fourth STEM Aviation Club member to complete a solo flight (Submitted/The Report).

Senior latest to make trip in the air

Westosha Central High School’s STEM Aviation Club continues to help students take flight, according to a report released by Eagle’s Nest Director Jim Senft, who serves as the club advisor.

Following the solo flights of 2016 graduates Nicole Jackson and Olivia Rasmussen, current co-president Declan Steinke on the next flight, before senior and other co-president Joshua Engberg accomplished the mission recently.

The four students, in addition to other club members, helped construct the plane they flew, an RV-12 aircraft known as Falcon 1.

Construction was made possible through a donation by nonprofit organization Eagle’s Nest.

“The Eagle’s Nest program is truly a life-changing experience and valuable resource for Westosha Central High School,” Senft wrote in a news release. “The Eagle’s Nest program provides us the resources to develop STEM program based around the fundamentals of aviation.”

Last year, students logged nearly 300 total hours assembling the aircraft.

Since the completion of Falcon 1, the aircraft is accessible to members of the student club for flight instruction and educational endeavors, the release states.

“I felt nervous as I began my first solo flight, but it quickly turned into one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life. Being the only passenger in the plane made it handle very differently, it felt very light and maneuverable,” Engberg states in the release.

Meanwhile, as students experience flight on Falcon 1, club members are assembling the next plane, which has yet to be named.

Through the program, two have earned private pilot licenses, Jackson and Rasmussen.

Additionally, according to Senft, the program bolsters student skills in Science, Technology, Math and Engineering.

“Our curriculum involves both student-directed and teacher-led curricula to create a powerful and effective STEM experience,” said Senft.


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