[Apr. 15, 2016] Learning takes flight in South Plantation High drone class

droneWeb link to article:  http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-broward-drone-class-20160414-story.html

In one classroom at South Plantation High, students fly through the last period of the day. Literally.

Gripping controllers, they send drones careening around poles, gliding through hoops and hovering over boxes. “It’s just like driving a car,” one student called out. “Kind of.”

Some schools use drones to film football practices; others have clubs where students compete in tournaments. South Plantation High is one of the first to launch a class devoted to the subject.

Drones have become more widely available in the last few years, with more than 400,000 people registering their devices since a Federal Aviation Administration-required database went live in late December. For some, the idea of thousands of unmanned aircraft roaming the skies raises safety and privacy issues, and several South Florida municipalities have rolled out regulations. Read more…

Article Submitted By: Gustavo Junco

Gustavo Junco is a Master of Science (non-thesis) student in the Agronomy major with a concentration in Agroecology.  His committee chair is Diane Rowland.  He works full time as an educator at South Plantation High School and teachers Horticulture, Animal Sciences, UAS Safety, and Chemistry.  In 2014 he was recipient of “Florida Agriculture Teacher of the Year Award.” One of his main objectives is to make lessons applicable to industry and the environment.  His UAS safety curriculum includes building and using drones, thus preparing students to enter STEM jobs.

Statement about why the article is of interest to him:

We are using the excitement of drones to teach secondary students about complex Agricultural issues such as Citrus Greening, Laurel Wilt Disease, and the environmental issues associated with fertilizer and water management.