ASD offers drone classes for students

n a recent weekday morning the sky above Dimond High School was filled with the buzzing of drones.
Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 11:43 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - On a recent weekday morning, the sky above Dimond High School was filled with the buzzing of drones.

South Anchorage, Dimond and Eagle River High Schools are the three schools in the district where students are learning the skills they need to pilot unmanned aerial vehicles.

Teacher Cat Walker got her commercial pilot drone license this summer. She said students who are at least 16 years old can take the FAA test to also receive their license. In addition, they can earn college credits for a small fee.

“Starting in January students will be able to sign up for three college credits for successfully completing the course and they’ll be valid for the UA system,” Walker said.

The students are learning that drones are used in many different professions and will probably be even more popular in the future.

“I think I’m finding a lot of professions that use drones that I wouldn’t even have expected,” said Walker. “So, many professions that you would automatically think of, so like aviation. But also, we just learned that there’s a micro nuclear reactor that uses drones inside to increase safety so you don’t have humans near anything that’s radioactive. So pretty much any job that you can think of, it could incorporate drones.”

Walker said the hands-on class is part of the Anchorage School District’s push to get students prepared for college as well as the working world.

“ASD in general I think we definitely want to promote students exploring careers and finding things that they would love to do,” she said.