ASP Seniors say goodbye

John Dulski stands among his fellow classmates in the first year of ASP after receiving his diploma, pose for a photo after a wonderful presentation.
Photo By: Will Garren

The Museum of Flight’s (MoF) Aeronautical Science Pathway (ASP) is saying goodbye to its senior students, the first graduating class to go through both years of the program. On Tuesday, 5 Jun. 2018 the inaugural class will have a graduation ceremony from the program they have worked hard in.

Michael Graham is a teacher for the first year students, high school juniors, at the MoF. He feels like the students are fortunate to be given this opportunity.

“I want these students to take away a few things,” said Graham. “1, free college credit. College is expensive, any sort of help is worth pursuing. 2, I want them to find a way to make their passion a career. 3, I want them to realize how lucky they are to have programs like this. Our goal is to give these students a head start on that career path.”

Senior Hunter Whitlock is in the ASP graduating class of 2017-18, and has been a part of it since its inaugural year. Whitlock learned about the program through his connection with the Vice President of Education at the MoF, Reba Gilman.

“I saw it as a opportunity and Ms. Gilman, the cofounder/former principal of RAHS, was looking for people to join the program,” said Whitlock. “I was friends with her from that, so that is how I found out about it. The museum was looking to start the program and looking for people to test out the program. They needed a group of students to provide the feedback and be the inaugural class. So I didn’t initially join the program because of itself but because Ms. Gilman. I stayed because it is a great opportunity and I earned all the credits the first year.”

This year was junior John Dulski’s first year in the ASP program, he has learned a lot from being in the ASP program and had many opportunities from joining this class.

“Some valuable lessons that I have learned is mostly regarding soft skills, group work, as well as public speaking. We also have had some presentations that we had to perform in front of the MoF executives,” said Dulski. “Adding [onto] to that, we have had many opportunities to connect with industry professionals at events such as the AIAA brunches that they have every few months or so.”

Changes are being made next year in the ASP program to spread time to other aspects of the class.

“Next year we will be changing the format of year,” said Graham. “Instead of having three classes back to back during a semester we will be combining 3 classes to look like 1 semester long class. This will allow us to do a lot more for each class and allow for more simulator time.”

The program comes with a lot of benefits, the most significant to Whitlock being the college credits.

“I earned all 60 credits, 30 last year and 30 this year, and most of them are transferring to the college I’m going to,” said Whitlock. “Combined with my AP classes I’m also taking, I will be starting as a second semester student. I got a year and half off college because of ASP and AP classes.”

Whitlock learned valuable life skills other than aeronautical science from being in the program. Students that are dedicated have to give up their time and effort to success with high quality.

“Hard work and time management [are] a big lesson I learned and I also learned my limits,” said Whitlock. “Last year I tried to do Science Olympiad as a zero period and I took ASP after school, so it kept me at school for 12 hrs a day, not including homework. So this year I dropped Science Olympiad to do ASP more effectively.”

ASP gives students the feeling of what being in college is like with real instructors rather than being in a normal high school class.

“[ASP is] improving me academically, just getting me used to how a college course works because they are taught by Green River instructors,” said Whitlock. “It is not like AP [classes] where you see the teacher everyday at the high school, it’s actual college professors.”

The program caught Dulski’s attention because it directly connects with the aviation field and industry, even more so than RAHS.

“The best part of joining the ASP program is that you get not only to be around people that are interested in aviation, but also that you get [to] take many more classes relating to aviation that I would not have found at this school,” said Dulski. “Best of all, you get credit for all of these classes (for me a high school GPA booster as well as a money saver in college).”

Dulski has to find a flexible schedule to handle school at RAHS and the ASP program, but overall it was worth the time and effort.

“Usually, I would have to take the bus home, so I would actually spend the same amount of time on the bus as I would in class. If one does join I would recommend on not doing a 6th period so that you have some time off before ASP begins,” said Dulski. “I would recommend for people to join ASP because it not only is about the passion of flying, it also grants you 60 college credits if you do it two years (so you save a good deal of money).”

Open post

RAHS space projects are out of this world

Senior Andrew Struthers(left) and Sophomore Carson Klein (right) are working on two Raspberry Pi’s that simulate the RAHS board and the UW system to test CAN communication and picture sending.
Photo By: Sam Hart

This year two RAHS projects will be sent into orbit. One of the projects is from the after school club Satellite Club (SAT Club). SAT Club has been working with the University of Washington to launch a satellite into space. The satellite needs to be finalized before 1 Aug. 2018 for NASA review and the launch will then take place near the end of 2018.

Senior Andrew Struthers joined SAT Club when it was formed. This year he has been working with his team on creating a satellite to photograph different parts of the Earth. Struthers hopes the student-made satellite will be able to complete its given tasks.

“The board is going to take pictures of the earth from low Earth orbit and send them back to Earth,” said Struthers. “The board is non-professionally made, the software is all written by students, and every part of the project is under student control. Hopefully, if everything works right, we will be able to take our own pictures of Earth.”

Struthers joined the SAT Club because he realized it benefits his STEM skills and he can use those to his advantage later in the future.

“I decided to join this club because it provides me the perfect opportunity to advance my passion in the STEM field. I have gotten the opportunity to code and work on an actual project, which has taught me many things about software,” said Struthers. “These skills that I have gained in SAT Club will help me in college and my future careers.”

Personally, Struthers feels like joining SAT Club enhances his technical and project skills.

“I gained many different skills from this project, including being able to stay focused on a single project for a long amount of time. I have also learned many valuable things including data handling and software communication,” said Struthers. “I have also learned about working on a project where deadlines and other parts of the project are being held up by something besides myself, and I’ve learned how to deal with the frustrations that [it] brings.”

An additional project that is being launched into space is from the Aerospace Engineering class taught by Scott McComb. McComb decided to launch high-altitude weather balloons with his class over the Memorial Day weekend. The launch for the first balloon will take place near Vantage, Washington. McComb was inspired to do this project after working at the rocket company Blue Origin.

“Last summer, I worked at Blue Origin to help educators break down barriers to launching materials to space,” said McComb. “Since Flight by Design is already working with Blue Origin at our school, I decided it would be fun to use high-altitude weather balloons to excite students about engineering and aerospace.”

Freshman Etnna Elizalde-Castaneda is in Aerospace Engineering and her part on the team is to deal with sound and how it works with fire.  

“My team and I are doing a sound fire suppression system,” said Elizalde-Castaneda. “It amazes me how sounds or bases [chemicals that put out fires] that we may not be able to feel or hear very well can put out flames very easily.”

Elizalde-Castaneda decided this was a good elective that will help her in the future.

“I chose to take this class because I am interested in engineering and it’s a career I would like to pursue and I believe that it’s a potential field I could work in,” said Elizalde-Castaneda. “I came in wanting to learn CAD and more about electrical [fields].”

The balloon project McComb has created for his class has a lot of benefits for the students

“Engineers make dreams turn into reality,” said McComb. “It’s exciting to create something from nothing and fly it to space!”

Open post

Flight by Design projects are coming in for landing

Connor and Hunter finishing up their remote control model airplane.
Photo by: Will Garren

In the start of September, Flight by Design (FbD) let loose by giving their students more freedom by the students breaking off into teams to tackle their year-long projects of interest. There are six different projects; each team ranges from three to eight people in each team.

Nikhil Joshi is the teacher of the second period class, FbD. Joshi takes a unique approach to the course; instead of telling students what to do, Joshi lets students figure out their projects by themselves.

“Students have been working on them since September,” said Joshi. “Students design their own project, I have no idea what they have in mind in the start of the year. They design a project, break themselves into teams, and assign assignments on the project for a whole year.”

Senior Brynne Hunt is working on the Rainier 2 project, which has six team members. They are working on payload that tests the magnetic field.

“It is an experimental 2U payload that will launch on a sub-orbital flight,” said Hunt. “It is to test the critical magnetic field needed to deform ferrofluid in microgravity.”

Working on this project helped Hunt understand how real-world projects work and the difference between short-term, semester projects and year-long projects. Learning these skills now will help her with her future career.

“Working in year-long projects is similar to the real world and allows for projects to go more in depth and be more complex,” said Hunt. “The amount that you can accomplish with a team in a year drastically outweighs what you can do in a week or two.”

Hunt is interested in this class because it gives her a chance to learn and improve skills that she does not explore in her other classes.

“I am really interested in space and [I] wanted to gain more hands on technical skills. I also wanted to focus on my project management skills,” said Hunt. “This project allowed me to gain more technical skills and leadership skills.”

Senior Grace Zoppi and her project team are called the  International Space Settlement Design Competition (ISSDC) which is named after the annual competition taking place in the end April. The project is worked on in FbD class and in a separate club.

“I’m on the ISSDC Team, we are designing a 6000 resident orbiting space station around the moon,” said Zoppi. “There [are] 8 people in the class that work on ISSDC, but we also have a club [that has] 20 people in total.”

Both the club and in class ISSDC team will submit their project at the end of April for the competition taking. If they succeed, they will be competing in Florida this summer.

“At the end of April we submit it to the competition head,” said Zoppi. “Then they decide the essential regional winners and then if our team wins we will go to Kennedy Space Center at the end of July for the finals. Each year the Competition organizers develop a new design scenario with its own special requirements and we have to build off the scenario.”

Zoppi has learned a lot because of the project, she learned skills that will help her academically. She also learned technical skills working on the project for the whole year.

“I learned a lot through this project,” said Zoppi. “I improved my academics skills like my CAD skills and learned about engineering documentation because it is needed particularly for my project, but a major thing I learned [are] my leadership skills. Working on the same project for the whole year taught me a lot of leadership.”

Joshi wants students to understand that the project should be started early, and it is unrealistic to procrastinate because other students other students depend on each other to do their work.

“You have to plan for it, you have to deal with setbacks. You have to be able to work together productively for a very long time,” said Joshi. “You have divide and conquer when people are working on different parts of the project that are codependent on each other. These are real world workplace skills.”

Scroll to top