Students Make a Jet Engine Run with Biodiesel

By on April 3, 2014
Students Make a Jet Engine Run with Biodiesel

Did you know that St. Louis Community College students learn about aviation maintenance alongside St. Louis Public School students? It is part of a collaborative effort in which Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified courses are offered in conjunction with the Gateway STEM High School where college students and high school students learn about aviation maintenance together.

In preparation for the Airframe and Powerplant certification required by the FAA, students learn how to maintain and repair many types of aircraft, from small aircraft with reciprocating engines to large transport planes with turbine engines. “The courses prepare students for the FAA Airframe and Powerplant exams,” said Becky Epps, program manager of the St. Louis Aerospace Institute at STLCC.

The Gateway STEM chemistry class recently made biodiesel that can run a jet engine. According to Paul Voorhees, Director of Aircraft Maintenance at Gateway STEM High School, “It all started last November when Mason Hocking and Miranda Reuther, two juniors in the aviation maintenance program, asked if we had an engine that would run on diesel fuel. I told them that a jet engine would run diesel. They were excited because their chemistry class was working on a project making biodiesel. The fire department students (EMT program) were on hand to ‘put out any fires.’ The chemistry students were there, very proud of their work. And the engineering students came as spectators.”

The students learned a real world application of chemistry, the real possibility of alternative fuels as a petroleum based substitute, and how different programs and industries can and do work together.

Watch how the Gateway STEM chemistry class made a jet engine run on biodiesel.

To learn more STLCC’s unique partnership with the Gateway STEM High School or other aviation training opportunities contact Becky Epps at 314-513-4271.

About Becky Epps

Becky Epps serves as Project Manager, St. Louis Aerospace Institute and Technical Training for the Workforce Solutions Group of St. Louis Community College. Mrs. Epps has 12 years of experience in business and industry training. This includes experience with several local premier businesses including Boeing, Chrysler, Rawlings, Ford, ABB, Inc. and Essex Manufacturing. She provides leadership and direct oversight for the St. Louis Aerospace Institute. She also manages Workforce Solutions’ Technical Training unit, including Automated Controls, Industrial Maintenance Training and Safety Training and Consulting. Mrs. Epps holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human Service Agencies–Management from Lindenwood University.

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