The Independence Middle School Inventors Club is in its third year and this year the students are learning about the principles of flight.
Approximately 30 students stay after school on Wednesdays to work with Principal David Muench in the Steel City Collaboratory area in the IMS Library Commons to build their own remote control airplane out of foam board. He hopes that by participating in this activity that the students can develop interest in a hobby that they can grow with and have success.
The students are using equipment such as the laser engraver, 3D printer and the CNC mill router for the project. The students used the laser engraver to cut the outline of the fuselage (or body of the plane) onto the foam board. Then the students used exacto knives to finish cutting out the design. They used glue guns to assemble the planes before attaching the motors.
A $1,209 grant from the Bethel Park Education Foundation helped with the purchase of the motors, batteries and transmitter/receivers for the group to fly their planes.
Eighth grader Lilly Puskar is back for a second year of participating in this group, because she says it's "fun." She is interested in participating in engineering classes next year at the High School, and her involvement with the Inventors Club gives her an opportunity to pursue her interest in engineering. Seventh grader Zane Antonich got involved with the Inventors Club because he saw the students working on their planes and decided it was something he wanted to do as well.
This year the students took an after school field trip to the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics at the Allegheny County Airport to learn more about aviation and careers in aviation.
This is the third year for the Inventors Club at IMS. The first year the students worked together to build a working go-kart. Last year they took apart a bicycle and used the parts to build a wind turbine.
Please click here
to see some photos of the students cutting out their fuselages.