Workers with Sowela and Calcasieu Parish School Board move a Cessna 150 into the gym at Lake Charles Boston Academy of Learning on Wednesday. (Karen Wink / American Press)
Paul LeBlanc steers a Cessna 150 by moving the landing wheels as workers with Sowela and Calcasieu Parish School Board move the plane into the gym at Lake Charles-Boston Academy of Learning on Wednesday. (Karen Wink / American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, July 19, 2012 12:31 PM
A team from the Calcasieu Parish school system and Sowela Technical Community College wheeled a Cessna 150 into the gym at Lake Charles-Boston Academy of Learning on Wednesday morning.
The crew faced some difficulty getting the body of the plane through the double doors of the gym, but with some creative maneuvering they finally succeeded. The plane had arrived in its new home.
The former girl’s gym at the school will now serve as a makeshift hangar for students participating in the new dual-credit aviation maintenance courses offered at the academy for the 2012-2013 school year.
The school will offer four classes: aircraft math and physics, aircraft drawings, hydraulics and pneumatics, and basic electricity. Students who complete all four courses will have earned eight credit hours at Sowela.
Charles Adkins, the principal at the academy, said all classes will be hands-on. “They will learn the concepts in the classroom, then come over to the plane and learn it directly,” he said. “This just opens up another opportunity for them in something they may not have considered before.”
The classes are a result of a partnership between the Calcasieu Parish School Board, Sowela and Chennault International Airport.
The classes are available to all 11th- and 12th-graders in Calcasieu, Allen, Cameron, Beauregard and Jeff Davis parishes. Classes are free for all students, and transportation will be provided by each district.
“The whole idea is that Aeroframe and other companies need workers in this field now,” Adkins said. “We’re trying to create a pipeline from high school to Sowela to the field.”
The crew rolled in the plane body first, then worked to reattach the plane’s wings and the empennage — the “tail” of the plane — once inside the gym.
A group of Calcasieu Parish students at the academy for summer school gathered in the gym to watch.
Michael Graham, an incoming 11th-grader at Sulphur High School, said the plane’s arrival was the first he had heard of the program, but that he does “plan to sign up now.”
“I’ve always liked seeing how things are built,” Graham said. “I’ve never see a plane be put together before, but I’ve always been interested in flights. It’s really cool.”
Registration for the classes is open now. Adkins said about 45 students have shown interest in taking the course.
Interested students can contact their high schools or the academy directly to sign up.
Adkins has only one comment for students contemplating registering for the class.
“Come by and see the plane that you’ll be working on.”
Lake Charles-Boston Academy is introducing two other courses for the 2012-2013 school year in addition to aviation maintenance. The school is bringing back the pharmacy technician courses and starting up an agricultural science program.
The pharmacy technician program, which was cut last year, helps prepare seniors to take the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam.
The agriculture program would be designed for students with an interest in production and animal science. Some of the outlying schools have their own agricultural science programs, but none of the schools in Ward 3 have access to this type of class.
Registration for both classes is ongoing. Interested students can contact their high schools or the academy directly to sign up.
Posted By: Bobbie Celestine On: 7/19/2012
Title: AVIATION MAI. PROGRAM
The move to include aviation in the class room is great, especially with on-hands learning after studying theory.
Great job. I alway wondered would the dual diploma concept would work. Now I know that it can.l