JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Westside High School's Air Force JROTC program is really taking off with their drone technology this school year.
"We got a drone in our program to introduce STEM type education to the class," said Michael Mcguirt, the instructor. "Then, we obtained a grant for $8,600 to add more drones to the program."
Mcguirt said having this type of technology is both fascinating and helpful for everyone.
"This will take place in the future skills set for jobs in the future," said Mcguirt.
Mcguirt said students in the course will learn the practical experience of flying a drone which gives them the opportunity to pursue their own license.
"There is an online training licensing program they can study and take their test and go fly commercially," said Mcguirt.
With five drones in the program worth about $10,000 collectively, Mcguirt said this is helping students get involved with maintenance and flight documentation as well as working them in real world experiences.
"We are working with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to provide our efforts not only in the classroom but in the community as well," said Mcguirt.
He said the goal is to give every student the opportunity to certified if they choose.
"If they want to do more with this, I am loving it," said Mcguirt. "If not, then that is fine too but this is to help them move with the way technology is moving in today's time."
By law, you have to be at least 16 years of age to take the FAA Drone Pilot licensing test.
Mcguirt said even though the price to take the test is $150, it is completely worth it in the long run.
"It doesn't matter if it is real estate or inspection or public works or you name it," said Mcguirt. "The opportunity exists for that in the job market and that is awesome."
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