FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT) — Leaders at Fort Payne Highschool say they pride themselves on career tech offerings for everyone. the newly formed aviation class at Fort Payne High school covers drones and aviation to help students elevate in life
“If you told me even a couple of months ago that I would be doing this I would honestly tell you you were crazy,” Fort Payne Highschool Student Reagan Mason said.
For most high school students connecting what they’re learning in the classroom with their career interests and aspirations is vital for keeping them engaged in the material.
Aviation instructor Steve Black said creating a drone class at Fort Payne hasn’t been easy, as the curriculum for high school-level drone education doesn’t exist.
“There is no state-approved curriculum for a drone class so right now our drone class is a lab of av communications and so we can legally do that and have it as a lab of av communications class and were currently working with the Alabama Department of Education to develop a curriculum that’s acceptable for drones,” he said.
Student Evelyn Mateo said that she didn’t realize that flying drones could be a career until she started taking the class.
“Mr. Black said that there are many companies out here who are looking for drone flyers and flying a drone is really cool so being able to make a career out of something you like which is flying drones for me,” she said. “I think that a very good opportunity.”
Only one drone lab exists currently, but the school has decided to use an economic and community affairs grant from the state to build a new building to house what they’ve started.
“We already have about twelve kids FAA certified and for those kids to be able to go straight into the workforce or maybe to a two-year or four-year college for those classes as well,” Superintendent Brian Jett said.
Students who complete the class and testing will be licensed by FAA standards. School plans for the aviation class to evolve into a drone delivery system delivering mail from school to school.