STEM Aviation Club starts building another aircraft

The Westosha Central STEM Aviation Club consists of the following students (from left): Chloe Rausch, Austin Dawson, Travis Senft, Adam David, Tyler Schoolcraft, Logan Tramburg, Jesse Nau, Jack Griffey

Westosha Central High School’s STEM Aviation Program not only offers aviation education to students.

The students, who often achieve pilots licenses, also build planes inside a workshop at Westosha Central.

Since 2014, when students first began building its initial plane, Westosha Central’s STEM Aviation constructed another aircraft currently housed at Burlington Municipal Airport.

Jim Senfft, advisor for the STEM Aviation Club, said the program is finalizing its third airplane nicknamed F3 Tercel.

“The plane has been a bit longer to complete than previous planes because we took an 18-month break because of COVID,” said Senfft. “The plane should be completed in late winter or early spring.”

The Westosha Central STEM Aviation Club gathers weekly in its workshop for meetings, build sessions, and ground school.

The Burlington Municipal Airport, the club’s home base for all flight operations, holds the latest Van’s RV-12 plan built by the Central STEM Aviation Club called F2, Talon.

The program educates students in the principles of aircraft construction, physics of flight, and concepts of metallurgy, and allows them to explore career opportunities in the aviation industry.

The STEM Aviation Program, according to its website, participates in a larger organization called Eagle’s Next Projects.

Eagles Nest Projects, a nonprofit group, looks to inspire future aviators and leaders.

All funds, including supplies, have been donated to the program at no cost to taxpayers.

Supporters include, but are not limited to, Kloss Foundation, River City Auto Body, S.C. Johnson and Son, Snap-On, Spectrum Furniture and Kimball Midwest.

Other supporters consist of AeroShell, Arvato Digital Services, Avlab, Big Ass Fans & Lights, Bosch, Campbell Hausfeld, College of Lake County, Jon Hendersen, Marty Stockwel, Milton Industries, Roger and Arlene Runkel; Rugged Radios; Rust Oleum; Sennheiser; Silver Lake Auto Body; Softcomm Headsets; Tanis Aircraft; Todd Burrus; U.S. Bank; Wag Aero; We Energies; Sarasota Avionics; and Aero Tool Services.

Aircraft Specialty; Burlington Air Center; Dual Eyewear; EAA Chapter 838; Guardian Avionics; Harbor Freight; Holiday Wholesale; Iris; Jim and Barb Hantschel; Johnson Outdoors; Kenosha Pilots Association; Lucas Oil; Merchants Moving; Merten Auto Service; Northlake Engineering; Pinazangaro; Wildblue Innovations; Zamba Photography; Delta Pop Aviation; ASYST Technologies have also contributed.

Central High School STEM Aviation Program is designed to inspire the next generation of aviation leaders. We provide students with an experiential education that excites, engages, and enriches through a unique, learn-by-doing curriculum focused around aviation.

On average, 12-18 Westosha Central students are enrolled in the program, according to its website.

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