History 303: Research and Writing Seminar in History
The California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, started as a humble polytechnic school in a time when such schools had little repute. Given these origins, one might not think that Cal Poly would latch on to the latest technologies of its day as quickly as the larger, more established universities. But, in 1927, just 15 years after the first-ever powered flight, Cal Poly had established an Aeronautical Engineering Department with a class that had students build a functional airplane. This paper will examine if this applied learning approach to aeronautics education, ingrained in the Cal Poly slogan “Learn By Doing,” was unique to Cal Poly at the time.