West Shore School District using drones to teach

Carlisle/West Shore

West Shore students and teachers had a blast at the district’s first drone course. Drone pilots taught community members how to fly and use the technology inside classrooms.

I’m really interested in flying, said Caleb Yoder, a junior in the class. I’m debating doing a pilot as a career.

It’s what inspired junior Caleb Yoder to take the drone class. He’s learning a lot.

Knowing where to fly, because you can’t just go out and fly in certain airspaces, said Yoder

But the class isn’t just for students. 

I put in a request to the West Shore Foundation who was gracious enough to buy me seven drones to use in the classroom, said Ryan Maxwell, a teacher at Rossmoyne Elementary School.

Teachers are using drones to make learning fun.

We teach all sorts of mathematical concepts using the drones as models, said Maxwell. They’re really engaging. The kids literally can’t keep their excitement, their control. They’re so happy to use them.

The sky is the limit on how many lessons can be taught by the tiny machines.

We have students at Red Land High School right now that are working on a drone that would drop medical supplies or rescue supplies, said Chris Champion, the district’s coordinator of instructional technology and organizer of the course. 

Drone pilots are learning the difference between what’s called being a hobbyist and who needs to get certified by the Federal Aviation Administration.

It does require you to know the regulations, said Champion. For instance, we have a plane flying overhead, and we have to make sure that we’re lower than capital city’s air traffic control pattern.

You’re seeing some of the far trees out there and some of the neighborhood, said Yoder.

Yoder hopes to go to aviation college. It’s a goal he’s much closer to because of this class. 

It’s getting me further on my private licensing soon, said Yoder

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