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New MISD Drone Class Begins Spring 2019

The use of drones—also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)—is on the rise, and Mansfield ISD is starting a new class to help students prepare for the booming industry. 

Edu-Drone will be offered in January 2019 with a focus on obtaining skills to become a commercial drone pilot for a variety of career pathways. 

“It’s just such an exciting adventure for us,” said Christie Alfred, executive director of curriculum and instruction. “It allows students from all different interest areas to come in…and it’s potentially a huge opportunity for employment for them as they graduate high school.” 

The classes will take place at Ben Barber Innovation Academy (BBIA) for MISD high school juniors and seniors. 

After successfully completing the course, students will be able to take the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 exam to become a certified drone pilot. 

“We have drone clubs at some elementary schools. Also, at our STEM Academy, they’re very involved in the drone program and will soon have competitions. Those types of activities promote the pipeline for students to engage in the Edu-Drone class in the future,” Alfred continued. 

Beverly Ver Steeg will be the instructor for Edu-Drone. She currently teaches engineering and aerospace classes at BBIA and is excited to expand the aviation offerings at the school. 

“I actually fly drones at home and kind of play with them. It’s a hobby,” said Ver Steeg. “When we knew we were getting a class, I was like, ‘Yeah!’ and sort of pushed to teach the course.” 

The 11th- and 12th-graders in Edu-Drone must have passed Algebra I, be at least 16 years old and hold a valid driver’s license. 

There is still space in the class. Interested students can visit their counselor for more information on how to get enrolled.