Parkersburg High School in West Virginia introduced drones into its robotics program earlier this week with a demonstration. The school was able to afford the new drones thanks to a grant from the state and Wood County Technical Center.

Once the school received the grant, robotics program teacher Steven Reiner had to come up with a curriculum for the children along with purchasing the equipment need to get them up in the air.

The program runs for two years and is offered to sophomore and junior students. In the class, the kids will learn the basics of coding to fly the drones. If the student passes the program course and wants to keep flying they can apply for the drone class.

PHS robotics program teacher Steven Reiner said:

The students absolutely love it, they love flying drones. They want to exceed the limits of the drones, which is a little scary. So they’re experiencing it for the first time and they’re pretty good about following the rules and regulations. We’re going to hopefully work with some other departments in the school to use the drones and hopefully get into the community side of it.

The class has around 15 to 20 students with 15 drones for the students to share. Not all drones are allowed to be in the air at one time, with dedicated time slots for students to fly. The students are also required to fill out flight logs, something that will get them ready for a career in drones.

Along with flying drones in the class, the students also have to learn the rules and regulations that make drone usage safe. Simulated work environments are also set up to give the students a small taste of what they could be doing with drones in the future.

On top of all of that, the school is working with drone company Brown Out Imaging of Ohio to get kids a true taste of what it’s like to fly drones for a living.

Photo: Tyler Bennett

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