Abstract:One of High Tech High’s staples is Intersession – a five day immersive experience where students choose a full time outlet for their passions. This year, my groups focus was on building radio controlled aircraft from scratch. With help from the Silent Electric Fliers of San Diego, students focused their four days of build time on one of three different types of aircraft (listed below). Students built the airframes, installed all of the electronics, and learned to fly on an RC flight simulator. The fifth day of the experience was spent at the local RC airfield where students were able to fly training aircraft then pilot their hand-built aircraft on their inaugural flights. Good fun was had by all. Aircraft Types:
- Cessna C-180: The Silent Electric Fliers of San Diego donated some raw foam forms that served as the basis for students build.
- Frankenplane: With the continual support of the local community, my classroom had become a graveyard of RC plane parts. Some students chose to scavenge the rafters and put together their own Frankenplane.
- Scratch Build: Flite Test provides free templates for aircraft that can be built entirely from Dollar Tree foam board, tape, and hot glue. Student also chose to build the FT Delta and a customized version of the FT Flyer.
Community/Industry Involvement: Considering this project was done on a budget of almost $0, it could not have been done without the gracious support of a number of key community partners, including:
- The Silent Electric Fliers of San Diego (and it’s members) have been supporting my classroom with airframes, electronics, motors, and other RC paraphernalia for 18 months. They also provided key mentorship for my students, volunteering over 40 man hours in just 5 days. They worked with us in the classroom as well as on the airfield. They were the backbone of this effort and I couldn’t have done it without them.
- The Academy of Model Aeronautics (of which SEFSD is a member) also helped tremendously. Besides the greater impact of their organization providing the infrastructure for maintaining RC flying as nation hobby, they also provided RC transmitters for my Piracy Based Learning Project last year which we also used here.
- Neu Motors & Castle Creations: Both companies have been incredibly kind in their donation of competition level electronics, motors, batteries, and chargers.
- Hitec RCD (Poway Office) – When I got into a bind and didn’t have enough matching crystal pairs (which are obsolete and hardly available commercially), Hitec bailed me out and donated everything I needed.