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DRONES Are Taking Off

 
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DRONES Are Taking Off
by Dave Boliek - Thursday, 2 March 2017, 12:08 PM
 

An exciting and amazing industry is being born and ExplorNet/QTL teachers are taking part.  Drones… or more accurately Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)… have found exciting business opportunities in a majority of business fields.  Drones offer great potential for entrepreneurial young people.

The business applications began with camera and instrument-laden drones monitoring farm fields; searching for missing persons; and taking real estate pictures.   Bigger and broader business opportunities continue to grow.

For example, we learn that Walmart experiments with drones to conduct inventory at a 1.2 million square foot distribution center.  It used to take 80 people about a month to do inventory.  Now drones do it in a day. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/03/business/walmart-looks-to-drones-to-speed-distribution.html?_r=0

And in Dubai, people-carrying drones will make an appearance this summer (remember ‘The Jetsons’?).http://time.com/4672881/drones-passengers-dubai-future-jetsons-ehang/

TV News crews like WRAL-TV in Raleigh, NC can use drones for instant live broadcasts.  http://www.capitolbroadcasting.com/2017/02/28/wral-tv-first-to-offer-local-news-coverage-with-a-fleet-of-drones/

The uses multiply daily.  ExplorNet/QTL in partnership with Beebe, AR High School and the Arkansas Department of Career Education has developed a three-level drone program that can lead students to their FAA Remote Pilot Certification.  That certification allows them to fly drones commercially.  We believe it’s the first statewide school program of its kind.

http://www.qtlcenters.org/drones—unmanned-aerial-systems.html

In addition to the three-level program, ExplorNet/QTL and the partnership has developed a “Flex” course so that teachers in other areas of Career and Technical Education can teach the use of drones in alignment with their course – everything from Agriculture to Trades and Industrial Education.  While the “Flex” course doesn’t result in the FAA certification, it does serve as a flexible completer for many courses in almost every area of Career and Technical Education offering unique opportunities.  The use of computerization, data gathering and analysis, and programming can also add Drones to STEM course groupings.