STEM students are working with all the tools they need, thanks to a $2.500 donation from the local Rotary Club to purchase fully stocked, waist-high tool chest on wheels.
Over a dozen students worked one Sunday morning in the Jefferson County International Airport aircraft hangers, putting the newly donated tools to good use. They were visited by representatives of Olympic Peninsula Steam, the Port Townsend Noon Rotary Club and the Boeing Bluebills to celebrate the donation to the STEM students.
According to director of the Port Townsend Aero Museum, Michael Payne, 375 students have received hands on training since 2001 in aircraft assembly, refurbishing, and flying under the supervision of master mechanics.
Currently there are 15 students on the roster, ranging in age from 12 to 18. Four have made solo flights, and only one has not flown an aircraft yet.
“When this program started, we were working out of a small box hangar,” Payne said. “A little over half of our work is contracts with other plane owners, which the kids contribute to getting done, and learn valuable skills in the process. Other jobs are for the museum, either maintaining or adding to our collection through restoration.”