Drone Training Curriculum Coming to High Schools
- By Dian Schaffhauser
drone training company based in New York recently completed a
successful pilot of its training curriculum. SkyOp
tested its SkyOp drone training curriculum in a community college
located in the same state. According to the company, the program was
so successful, the U.S.
Department of Labor's Job Corps
is making plans to adopt it for training in high
workforce development and continuing education.
The curriculum teaches students
to fly drones and prepares them to take the FAA Part 107 pilot exam.
The training program also uses hands-on work with data collection and
analysis tools used in the drone industry. The company produces
courses for industry, government and education, both at the K-12 and
Through a proprietary learning
management system, SkyOp intended to deliver content continually
updated to adhere to the latest regulations. The six
core components of the curriculum
cover 300 hours of instruction and coursework including:
An introduction to drones, which gives students an overview of drones, how they function and fly with and without GPS, and how they're currently being used for commercial and public safety applications;
Part 107 test preparation, to help students learn safety and operational requirements for passing the Federal Aviation Agency's remote pilot test and become licensed drone pilots;
Hands-on drone flight training on an industry-grade drone;
Drone photo and video production, which will allow students to use their flight skills to capture aerial imagery (both photos and video) and learn how to work with the results in popular digital editing software to create video productions;
Introduction to autonomous drone apps with hands-on flight training, covering programming of "autonomous missions" to help students become proficient in running these protocols, which are behind many commercial drone deployments; and
Introduction to Pix4D, an advanced photogrammetry application that turns data into visual representations, including orthomosaic mapping, 3D modeling, point clouds, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and geographic information systems.
company said it has also created a 90-hour subset of lessons that can
be integrated into other courses, covering the introductory content
and the remote pilot license preparation.
curriculum was tested at New York's Hudson
Valley Community College,
under a program put together by the U.S.
Job Corps in Oneonta, NY.
The college has been offering drone-related training for several
years. The latest offering drew applicants from around the country.
Based on the results of that effort, the Job Corps intends to expand
the program, SkyOp reported. The Oneonta center, which educates young
people between 16 and 24 in career and technical education topics,
delivers multiple 18-month training programs in automotive and
machine repair, construction, healthcare. Students live on campus
while taking courses.
"SkyOp has allowed us to
take our drone pilot training to the next flight level," said
Academy Director, Chris Kuhn, in a statement. "When it comes to
getting jobs, learning to fly a drone is just the beginning. The
SkyOp program goes way beyond preparing students for the FAA Part 107
Remote Pilot exam, to include various flight applications, data
collection practices and understanding the useful work drones can
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.