Northeast Tech students learn to fly at engineering camp

Northeast Tech students learn to fly at engineering camp
Posted on 07/12/2017
This is the image for the news article titled Northeast Tech students learn to fly at engineering campFive students from Northeast Tech’s Afton campus spent a week of their summer vacation working alongside engineering students at Oklahoma State University. As participants in the Unmanned Aerial Systems Camp, the students engineered, built and tested their own remote control planes.

“I learned that there is a big difference between designing an aircraft and building one,” said Wyandotte student Sydney Tynon. “One small change can affect the entire design.”

The Unmanned Aerial Systems Camp is hosted by OSU's College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology (CEAT), and the instructors at the camp are graduate students and OSU professors. It costs $3,800 for a team of five students to enroll in the camp, but thanks to the assistance of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technical Education, (ODTCE) the Northeast Tech team received a grant that covered the cost.

“We qualified for the Carl Perkins Non-Traditional grant because four out of five students on our team were females,” said Northeast Tech’s Pre-Engineering Instructor Trishia Masterson. “We continue to see an emphasis on encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and camp experiences like this are just one more way we can help students find their passion.”

The camp lasted five days and during that time students learned the basics of flight and flight control systems. On the first day, the students were given a kit of balsa wood and plane blueprints. With the guidance of OSU’s graduate students, they were tasked with building a remote control plane.

“There was a lot of teamwork, learning how to read blueprints, and learning how the different components of a plane work and affect flight,” Masterson said. “We continued to work on the plane during the week, they built and flew gliders, learned to fly RC planes on a computer simulator, and spent time with an instructor in OSU's flight simulator.”

A typical day for the students began in the design lab where they worked on their plane or glider project, but the lab time was broken up by tours of the college where students gathered information about engineering careers.

“My favorite project was building a glider. It was incredible to start with a piece of cardboard and end up with something that could fly,” said Tynon. “And I was surprised at how difficult it was to fly the planes in the simulator.”

At the end of the week, the students filed out to the flight field to test their models, and they will have the opportunity to return to the campus in April to race their planes at SpeedFest.

Along with Tynon, the four other Northeast Tech students who participated in the Unmanned Aerial Systems Camp were: Andrew Wallace of Grove, Inez Ramirez of Miami, Heidi Willy of Vinita, and Jessica Jenings of Quapaw. Masterson, one of Northeast Tech’s Pre-Engineering instructors, also attended the camp.

“This was probably one of the best camps I have ever attended,” said Masterson. ‘The timing was perfect because we are starting Aerospace Engineering as our optional course this year so it gave me a chance to gain some more hands-on experience myself and gave the kids a preview of what is coming up this year.”

Masterson believes camps like this one are an excellent opportunity for students to focus in-depth on a topic and develop something from a concept to reality – a theory proven true by the responses of her students.

“The single most important thing I learned is that it takes teamwork to take an idea in your head and turn it into something real,” said Tynon. “It may be difficult and frustrating at times, but in the end it will definitely be worth it.”
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