HomeWMS students using drone to explore future careers

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By Ashley Rose

With technologies being developed everyday, it’s no surprise that drones are making an appearance in the classroom.Wheat Middle School eighth-grade Exploring Careers teacher Luanna Ward said the school purchased a Phantom 3 Professional DJI using a $1,600 grant from the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in November.
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“My class is career investigations and exploration,” Ward said. “What we are doing is going through all of the possible careers that are available for these students for when they graduate high school or college and breaking them down so they can choose which electives they want to take when they get to the high school.”

Ward said just like when computers were the newest technology at one time, drones are going to be something that will be used in the work force.“These kids are hitting the ground running by learning how to operate this drone,” Ward said. “There will be jobs in the future that will involve operating drones.”

Ward said learning to operate the drone was a way for them to get out of their desks and have fun.“I wanted to give something to the students to engage them, make them excited for something that is going to be useful in the future,” Ward said. “They are having to apply science, math, engineering and all of those things that they will need in order to understand.”

Ward said the class went through a tutorial to learn how to operate the drone.Eighth-grader Samantha Moreno said when they were asked to think of a job where drones might be useful, her class group thought of using drones in a hospital setting.

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“We started doing more research and we found out that it could help them in that setting,” Moreno said. “If someone has a really contagious disease they could send the drone in with the medicine. They could use the camera on the drone to physically look at the patient to check up on them too. When they are finished with the drone, they can sanitize it.”

Eighth-grader Janie Bonotto said her group came up with the idea to use the drone for a school setting.“The drone could be used to check up on teachers to make sure they are teaching their students,” Bonotto said.Bonotto said the drone could also be used for when fights break out so teachers can see who started the fight.

Ward said her students keep coming up with ideas.“These ideas just start pulling out of these students’ heads and it’s like spark plugs going off,” Ward said. “When they are talking with me about their idea I think of other things too.”Ward said the school was also able to purchase an iPad Mini using the grant money so they can operate the drone with that instead of using an iPhone.

Principal Suzanne Keesee said the students love using the drone.“This is something that can inspire their creativity,” Keesee said. “If they didn’t have this hands-on experience, they might not learn how to do something as well as if they were copying notes off of the board.”