Rogers Career & Technical Education Teachers Launch Drone Initiative and the RPS Career Center Welcomes Students

Posted by: JustinFreeman on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
The opening of the 2017-2018 school year brings many new opportunities for students enrolled in Career & Technical Education programs in Rogers Public Schools. The newly renovated RPS Career Center classrooms and shop areas will welcome students participating in Construction Trades, Automotive Service Technology, Machine Tools, Advanced Manufacturing and Vocational Agriculture courses including both Agriculture Metals and Agriculture Mechanics. The RPS Career Center is located on the Heritage High School Campus. Transportation to the RPS Career Center is provided to 9-12th grade students from other campuses within the district to provide all students an opportunity to participate in the courses offered at the center. Also new this year is the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) or “Drone” program that three CTE teachers will launch at several campuses within the district. Three teachers attended training during the past summer that included both the FAA Certified Pilot course and the UAS Training program that will enable them to incorporate lessons and activities designed to introduce students the to the various uses of unmanned aerial systems or “drones” within both industry and recreational sectors. Zac Land and John Greenway, CTE teachers at Lingle Middle School, look forward to infusing concepts relating to drones into several programs. “We are very excited to be able to implement drones into our current curriculum at Lingle Middle School. In broadcasting, we will be able to look at different camera angles and birds eye view shots. We don't have a gimbal for our hand held cameras, however we do have it on our drone. It will help show on a small scale the advantages of a gimball on a camera and the smooth motion it helps provide. I look forward to updating our school tour video with some great new camera footage. In our Project Lead The Way (PLTW) course, Design and Modeling, we will look at how you can design 3D components and then print them using the 3D printer. In our PLTW Automation and Robotics the drone will provide a great “hand- on” example of multiple automated systems and a clear picture of technologies of the future that could be programmed and automated." "Other applications in the district that could benefit from having drones in the classroom would be the agricultural department and computer programming. Agricultural fields are using drones in Arkansas to fly over row crops. These drones are often using infrared camera sensors that are able to see which plants may be ill. This saves time and resources and improves the efficiency of that process. Programming can benefit with drones by the building and programming the circuitry components. Balancing the drones and components definitely connects the learning to real world application.” Rogers New Technology High School teacher, Marie Lothridge, shares information about the training program and plans for incorporating the drone program.  “The experience was intense with new knowledge in regulations and procedures related to the Federal Aviation Administration," she said. "We learned all the different types of drone engineering and flight patterns. Another topic of interest was the appropriate use of drones and how personal harm and property damage can be inflicted with drone flight. We gathered information and research on how to safely fly the unmanned aerial system in relation to weather conditions and mapping of federal airspace. The most interesting information presented was how there are restrictions on drone flight. I plan to incorporate all the emerging technology in the classroom, which includes propulsion, power, pre-flight, in-flight, post-flight, and industry-specific applications. This will tie into how we examine current and future industry applications of UAS. We will examine how the purpose impacts drone design and developing UAS solutions for a given industry-specific scenario.” The goal is to expand the drone program in the upcoming years to offer the full Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drone) program of study, which include a sequences of courses offered at the high school level and an opportunity for students to obtain the FAA Remote Pilot’s Certification.


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