Camden High School to offer drone course

Camden High School will be offering a Drone Pilot Course to students this Fall.

Posted: Feb 14, 2019 6:31 AM

CAMDEN, N.Y. - Camden High School will be offering a Drone Pilot Course to students this Fall.

The class will provide students that are interested in flying drones with employment opportunities after graduation. New York State Senator Joe Griffo stopped by for the Camden board of education meeting Wednesday night to talk a little bit about what this course could mean for students at Camden High School.

The students who take this course will learn to fly drones and receive comprehensive hands on training. At the end of the course, they will receive a certified drone pilot license. 

Senator Griffo helped the district receive $50,000 in special state legislative funding. The grant will cover the cost to start up this course. It will include a week-long teacher training program with SkyOp in Canandaigua and the teachers taking and passing their Federal Aviation Administration Unmanned Aircraft System exam for a certification. It will also be used to purchase the drones that will be used, which the students will be able to keep, and there will be an indoor and outdoor drone obstacle course for students to practice on.

With Grifiss Airforce Base, located in Rome, serving as the drone corridor in our area, the Superintendent says this is an educational and economic opportunity for students to work with local companies. He says the drone market is quickly expanding locally and globally in areas of employment such as video, marketing, search and rescue, delivery services, agriculture, and drones are being used for many military purposes. 

Senator Griffo and the superintendent say this program has a lot of potential.

“What I hope to see is this curriculum grow, great opportunities for students so I’m pleased that we were able to provide the $50,000," Senator Griffo said.

The superintendent for the Camden School District says he is ready to get started and prepare students for the 21st century workforce.

“So this is a great opportunity to go ahead and get into the education of an industry with drones that is really taking off in this area,” Dr. Ravo Root, Superintendent said. 

The school is partnering with Mohawk Valley Community College, so students will receive college credits after completing the course, and the Superintendent says within the next couple of years, the school will offer more courses like this one. Students must be 16 by the time they take the test for their certification. 

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