15:56 PM

Air Force Assn. Honors Wis. Cadet for Aerospace Education Achievements

Eau Claire Composite Squadron's Owen Excels in Classroom, Field

Cadet Capt. Casey Owen of the Wisconsin Wing’s Eau Claire Composite Squadron is the Air Force Association’s Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Education Cadet of the Year.

Owen, the cadet commander of his squadron, was honored at the AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference and Technology Exposition 2017 in National Harbor, Maryland.

He helped develop the Eau Claire unit’s balsa wood glider program, which is used to teach the basic principles of flight to cadets, who can adjust the gliders’ weight and balance, center of lift and angle of attack to maximize flight characteristics and glide slope.

He also assists during the squadron’s flight simulator class, not only helping set up beforehand and pack up afterward but also answering his fellow cadets’ questions. In addition, he frequently provides informative presentations on different aspects of aviation and aeronautics, and he assists with the model rocketry program.

Over the last year Owen devoted more than 60 hours to the Science Olympiad program, dedicated to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education for K-12 students nationwide. He officiated at the Wisconsin Science Olympiad Regional Middle School Tournament and at the National Science Olympiad Tournament in Menomenee, Wisconsin.

At the Wisconsin Wing Conference in April 2016, Owen and his four-member team from the national Rube Goldberg Machine Contest displayed the device they built for the competition, which launched a foam Goddard Rocket using 15 separate steps. The team finished first, winning a radio-controlled plane kit for the Eau Claire squadron.

The squadron’s assistant aerospace education officer, 2nd Lt. John Kuehn, praised Owen’s role in instructing fellow cadets during an aerospace education session. He cited the cadet’s “excellent knowledge of the subject … reflected in his relaxed and professional manner.”

“He did a great job of establishing a peer-to-peer rapport while maintaining his professional bearing as an instructor,” Kuehn said.

“He asked appropriate questions and gave example problems to the students to validate that his instruction was understood,” he said. “Cadet Owen did an excellent job of instruction in every way!”

Earlier this month Owen was awarded the Frank G. Brewer Memorial Aerospace Award, Cadet Category, at the CAP National Conference in San Antonio. He also recently achieved his private pilot's certificate.