JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – Jackson-Milton High School students are working to become certified drone pilots.
The new course began this year through the Unmanned Safety Institute, and students are already operating two levels of drones.
Sixteen students are training to secure their commercial drone license in May.
“I want to be an engineer when I grow up, so I think maybe working on drones, developing drones would be pretty cool,” said Landon Workman, a Jackson-Milton High School student.
Thanks to funding through the county, the Blue Jays are one of eight local schools to implement the program. The year-long class connects students to career paths in a variety of fields.
“Weddings, sports, I know the NFL uses drones. Pretty much anything. A professional tennis filming person. You could just fly around and film tennis matches,” said Hadley Reese, a Jackson-Milton High School student.
Stephen Mohr, a science teacher at the high school, said the learning starts with simulations.
“We get them in different scenarios to get them ready for what they would potentially have to go out and do while commercial flying,” Mohr said.
Students in the class are already putting their practice into play, filming a football game and Senior Rock painting.
“You don’t have to worry about studying for this class. We have to take tests for the course, obviously, but coming outside and building relationships with everyone is nice,” Workman said.
Not only are the students learning how to fly, they are having fun with it.
“If they were doing a search and rescue of a building, they would have to be able to fly through things. So, we’re trying to make it as realistic as we can,” Mohr said.
By the end of the course, the students will be evaluated by their ability to operate a drone safely and efficiently.
“It goes with the whole environmental, sustainability for a lot of these companies. They’re looking as ways to make it cheaper and easier for them, and for us to get it on demand as the consumer,” Mohr said.
Drone training has expanded in Trumbull County schools, too. The Young Dronepreneurs Program will take students into the sky. Brookfield already has a very successful drone racing team that has competed nationally.