What’s Right With Our Schools: Tango Flight at Cleveland High

CLEVELAND, TN (WDEF) – What’s the neatest project you ever worked on in high school? Did you take apart a carburetor?Maybe snap together a bird house? Well, students at Cleveland High are building an airplane. Project Tango is a high flying example of what’s right with our schools.

Dan Weyant is the Executive Director and Founder of Tango Flight.

He says, “Tango Flight’s an educational non-profit. We were formed in 2016. We were created to bring a STEM curriculum to high school students. There’s a classroom component. We have an actual classroom curriculum, where the kids learn the academic side of it, and then the lab portion to reinforce that includes building a experimental light sport aircraft, the VANS RV12IS. It’s a real two-seat airplane goes about 120 miles an hour. It flies like an airplane. Just a lot of fun.”

Scott Campbell is the Aviation Instructor at Cleveland High.

He adds, “We have this one full motion simulator from Redbird, and then we have eight companion simulators on the floor out there. They’re not full motion but they simulate the same instrumentation and flight feel for the students as they’re learning their flight maneuvers.”

Renny Whittenbarger is the Supervisor of Career and Technical Education for Cleveland City Schools.

Renny says, “Tango Flight asks that we pull in outside professionals in to mentor our students. Now, when we say mentor yes that’s mechanically, electrically whatever that may be, but also just for that student to have a shoulder partner just to talk to, to work down how to break down a process. How to work through problems. Which in turn crosses over to maybe life skills.

He continues, “We got welders. We got military people.  We’ve also got a gentleman that that came in with electrical experience. All of those will add to the knowledge base needed to complete this airplane.”

Dr. Eric Garner is the 10th grade Assistant Principal at Cleveland High.

He exclaims, “This is amazing!  We are looking forward to starting this program. What it means is that they’ll be able to actually take the skills that they learn in aviation through our CTE program, and apply them in real life. I don’t know that there’s another program with this amount of hands-on experience in real life creation, to the point that our students move through our design thinking program to a finished product like this. This is amazing!”

Scott Campbell chips in, “It is very high tech, yes. I’m just excited for our students who get to experience the technology we have today. We can actually bring it life in the classroom forum.”

Renny concludes,” When the students start seeing boots on the ground, students that are building in-house at Cleveland city or Cleveland high school, a complete airplane, I think like ripple effect. It’s going to keep going out. And this program is going to go through the roof.”



Categories: Bradley County, Cleveland, Education, Local News, What’s Right With Our Schools