Who isn’t fascinated by planes, boats and automobiles? But did you know that Oswego has its own lab for learning about how they work?
In line with the founder’s focus on hands-on learning, Oswego has long offered students the chance to tinker with transportation technology.
The Transportation Lab in Room 105 of Park Hall is a best-kept secret on the lakeside campus. It dates back more than a half century, but even though the space is currently undergoing renovation and the lab moving to another building on campus for two years, students can get up close and personal with a Cessna 120 airplane and an electric car.
In his day, the lab included a “Link Trainer” flight simulator, small engines, bicycles, boat building and model airplanes, said Brian Kelly ’59. “We had a five-cylinder radial aircraft engine and we used to fire it up every so often,” remembers Kelly, who taught technical drawing at Rome Free Academy and Earlville Central Schools until his retirement.
Mark Hardy ’91, newly named chair of the technology education department, says he remembers visiting the lab as a student and teaching directly above it as a professor, where his electrical lab students could hear the roar every time an engine started up below.
“It’s exciting to know that we will keep this space intact” after the renovation, he said. The new space will combine the transportation and energy labs, as students learn about alternative fuel vehicles and alternate sources of energy. “We have a long history and a lot of pride,” he said of his department. “We are not getting rid of the old but bringing in new technology to give a fresh, new look.”