New high school drone technology program

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West-MEC’s Drone Technology Program provides elite training in one of the most influential and innovative subsections in the aviation industry.

As drones are becoming more common for everyday functions like delivering goods, farming, firefighting, and even the military, West-MEC will have prepped countless individuals to be ready to take on existing and future roles in Arizona.

The one-year program is designed to educate students on building, programming and flying unmanned aircraft systems to perform various missions. Learners have the opportunity to belong to a community that helps students discover their potential and value and explore their skills and abilities.

Students spend about two-and-a-half hours in the classroom five days a week from August until May.

Robert Chambers, an instructor at West-MEC, says that half of the instruction is through discussion and the rest is hands-on learning.

“This is a brand new program, Chambers said. “They’re in their fourth week and there’s a lot of material to cover.”

Some of the industries that use drone technology:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Agriculture
  • Deliveries
  • Real Estate
  • Photography/film
  • Construction
  • Sports

Drone technology is advancing rapidly, meaning that teaching the subject can prove to be difficult.

“It’s extremely challenging. It’s hard to keep up,” Chambers said. “I really just keep my nose to the media, the internet. The rules are changing as we speak, that’s hard to teach. In my class, we stick to the basics.”

West MEC’s High School Program prepares students for their 107 license., an industry certification that is required for flying a drone commercially. The school offers the test to students on their campus free of charge.

“I had my success rate with my first class,” Chambers said. “17 out of 18 students got their license, so I think I’m gonna keep my job for a while.”

For more on West-MEC’s High School Drone Technology Program, click here.

Robert Chambers, West-MEC Drone Technology Program Instructor; Aayden Culp, West-MEC Drone Program Student.

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