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Beavercreek City School District Accepts Donated Jet

More than 100 people welcomed a donated jet from FedEx at the Dayton International Airport.
Ariel Van Cleave
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More than 100 people gathered at the Dayton airport Thursday morning to welcome a jet that’s going to become a classroom. The aircraft is a gift to the Beavercreek City School District from FedEx.

There’s a lot of pomp associated with accepting a donated Boeing 727-200. The Beavercreek High School Band played to a large crowd while everyone waited for the plane.
 

Jo Ann Rigano with the Beavercreek Board of Education worked to orchestrate the donation. She says now that the aircraft has arrived, the real work gets underway to transform it into a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) classroom.

“We’re gonna gut this plane. Everything has to come out of it before anything else can happen. And then within the next two years we will convert this into the STEM classroom,” Rigano said.

 

The Beavercreek High School Band took of tour of the former FedEx jet during an event at the Dayton International Airport.
Credit Ariel Van Cleave
The Beavercreek High School Band took of tour of the former FedEx jet during an event at the Dayton International Airport.

The district is partnering with Wright State University and Clark State Community College on the project. Dr. Cassie Barlow is the executive director for the Aerospace Professional Development Center at Wright State. She says this project is all about getting kids into science and technology.

“We need every single child in this room and all of their peers across the state of Ohio to be interested in and to pursue a career in STEM,” Barlow said.

 

At least one kid in the audience is considering it: fifth-grader Curtis Bouts says he’s thinking about building planes as a career, but he’s still mulling it over.

 

For now, officials with Beavercreek schools, Wright State and Clark State need to figure out the jet’s permanent home. They’ll also discuss making this project open to all the schools in the region and potentially to students from other states.