Wisconsin Students To Build An Airplane

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For some high-school seniors starting school in Madison, Wis., this month, learning about aviation will involve something more memorable than reading a book. Teacher Ben Senson has secured a $20,000 grant to start building a Challenger Iultralight and a Sonex. "The motivational part is working already," Senson told the Wisconsin State Journal. "Students are begging to find out what they should be taking so they can take this when they are seniors." Senson, 38, has never built an airplane before, but he did win an aviation-education award from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation this summer. "Students are fascinated by flight and space exploration . . . It's an easy way to sneak in a lot of biology, chemistry, physics and earth science concepts," he said. Senson also takes his students to the airport, where they get a chance to pilot an airplane. He will need to find $30,000 more in donations to build the engines and instruments for the two aircraft. Once the aircraft are finished, he plans to sell them and use the money to buy more kits. His ultimate goal is "to engage students in their current mathematics, scientific and technology education to inspire them to take additional course work and encourage them to pursue possible careers in those fields or in engineering."