Learning takes flight with Bullitt County drone program - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Learning takes flight with Bullitt County drone program

Posted: Updated:

MT. WASHINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) -- Drones continue to make headlines, whether it's for interfering with planes or crashing into a stadium. The devices are have also recently made headlines over proposed regulations requiring owners to register their drones.

But in Bullitt County, 7th graders are piloting their own drone program and focusing on the positive side of the technology.    .

When it comes to Anne Lopez's 7th graders, very little time is spent in their Bullitt County classroom. Instead, they head outside where learning takes flight.

The Eastside Middle School students are piloting the first drone engineering program in the district, learning everything there is to know about the micro-machines.

After mastering hoovering, the 7th graders take on more complicated flight patterns. The trial and error often results in a crash landing. 

"Sometimes the wind will get one way and you have to direct it another way," said student Slade Douthett.

When the drone malfunctions, it's up to the students to diagnose what's wrong.

"Sometimes the propellers don't work, sometimes it's the wiring and sometimes it's the casing around it," said student Michael Monterosso.

Lopez won't tell them the answer. Instead they rely on team work, critical thinking and problem solving.

These students are getting in on the ground floor of this multi-billion dollar industry.

"We're taking drones, a cool factor, a toy they think (about) and (are) being able to introduce them to the engineering design process through that," said Lopez.

Once the domain of the military, then adopted by the tech-savvy, drones are gaining popularity at warp speed. It's forcing the government to keep up with the state of the art technology and raising questions about safety and privacy. 

Lopez isn't keeping these issues from her students. Instead they're learning about the positives and the negatives.

"It's fun knowing that you're using drones for good. Most people go around talking about how drones are dangerous, invading privacy, but there are drones like this that are fun to race around and play with," said Monterosso.

After just nine weeks of piloting the aircraft, many of the students see a future when it comes to micro-engineering.

"I think I want to be an engineer, because I really like STEM lab," said student Ayden Mudd.

That's exactly why Lopez wanted to get her kids involved in the program; in order to pave the way to future careers when it comes to emerging technology.

"I want to see our kids not only engaged in engineering and the stem pathway, but I want to make sure they follow through with it," said Lopez.

Lopez's current class is made up completely of male students. She wanted to do that to help with learning. Up next, seventh grade girls will be taking flight and even building their own drones.

Copyright 2015 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.

  • Sign Up for WDRB's Sports Newsletter

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.