School kids build airplane

Some years ago, Minneapolis’ Washburn High School teacher Peter Denny adopted the kind of curriculum that can make a difference in kids. In his shop class, he had the students build an airplane. Not a lot of kids build airplanes, so the boost to the kids’ esteem was measurable.

“You have students who learn by reading out of books, you have other students who learn well by watching something,” Denny told MPR’s Dan Olson in a 2004 profile, “And you have another group of students who love learn by using their hands. And it’s basic concrete kinetic learning. They basically learn by doing.”

Not long after, the school got rid of the program, and Denny retired.

Now, another teacher is pursuing a different way of teaching kids.

“I wanted to provide something that people never thought they could do,” Julias Salinas tells the Duluth News Tribune today.

Salinas, the Fond du Lac Ojibwe school’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics consultant, is running the operation to help the kids build an airplane.

The point, he said, is to inspire students.

Now, there’s a concept.

“It makes me want to come to school,” one student said.