Los Angeles, California, March 27, 2008 — Build A Plane, the non-profit organization that helps kids learn science, technology, engineering and mathematics by building real airplanes, is facing a critical shortage of donated aircraft.
“We have received more than 70 aircraft donations since Build A Plane began,” says founder Lyn Freeman, “but we have nearly 200 schools we’ve had to put on a waiting list.” Schools that sign up to receive an airplane typically wait more than a year before a project aircraft is available.
“When schools have to wait that long to receive an airplane, sometimes they move on to a different area of interest, away from aviation,” Freeman says. “We can’t afford to have that happen, so we really, really need more aircraft donations.”
Build A Plane is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, so aircraft donors receive receipts for their contributions and may take the fullest deduction the law allows. Build A Plane redirects aircraft donations to high schools across the country at no charge. Those airplane projects become teaching tools to motivate kids to learn science, technology, engineering and math, as well as foster interest in aviation.
The program’s tremendous success has drawn support from a variety of general aviation industry leaders. Members of Build A Plane’s Advisory Board include Jack Pelton, president and CEO of Cessna Aircraft Company, Tom Poberezny, president of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association, Peter Bunce, president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Bruce Landsberg, president of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, Matthew Desch, Chairman and CEO of Iridium and Burt Rutan, president of Scaled Composites.
“It’s amazing to see what happens when a Build A Plane aircraft shows up at a high school,” says Katrina Bradshaw, the program’s executive director. “Kids who have not even started to think about what they want to do when they grow up suddenly see a real airplane right in their classroom. The next thing you know kids are learning about the technology and math and engineering and science of aviation, and then we see kids enroll in flying lessons, aviation technician programs and all kinds of things. It’s really very exciting!”
To donate an aircraft to Build A Plane or to learn more about its projects, log onto www.BuildAPlane.org or contact Katrina Bradshaw, KBradshaw@BuildAPlane.org, 920-279-3714.