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Michigan High School Showcases Drone Classes

Monroe High School is beginning an expansive career technical education (CTE) drone program by using electric lenses to teach drone piloting as a response to their commitment to prepare students for in-demand jobs.

by Caitlin Taylor, Monroe News / January 3, 2020

(TNS) — Monroe High School in Monroe, Mich., has a new drone program that is getting off the ground.

The school is laying the foundation for an expansive career technical education (CTE) drone program by teaching drone crafting and piloting through an electronic lens.

The program is aimed at representing Monroe Public Schools' commitment to preparing students for in-demand jobs in a changing world, according to Kyle Reed who teaches the drone courses.

"Drones are an expanding area of growth across many different career clusters," Reed said. "Everything from construction, surveying, media, real estate, utilities, entertainment and even insurance adjusting are incorporating drones.

"The field of UAV's is changing rapidly, and we are positioned to move along with those changes while providing real opportunities for students who choose this as a career pathway."

Inspired by a Traverse City drone program, Reed, who has a background in robotics and programming, traveled north with Steve Pollzzie, the district's CTE director, to get a feel for the up-and-coming program.

The pair returned with a plan to get the program underway, Pollzzie explained, along with the support of a consortium of community colleges, intermediate school districts, a curriculum provider and industry partners.

Since then, Reed has begun working with Lucien Miller, chief executive officer of Innov8tive Designs, an electric power system provider in Monroe, to design the high school's program.

Once officially underway, students who complete four levels of courses will earn their 107 Federal Aviation Administration Drone Pilot license, giving them an advantage in the workforce after graduation.

Along with certification, students are learning about electronics, motors, flight controllers, safety, three-dimensional (3D) printing and design, Reed said.

So far, students have used 3D printers to fabricate replacement parts for drones used in the course.

©2019 Monroe News, Mich. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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