Local teachers learn to teach about drones. 

June 21, 2019

Local teachers learn to teach about drones. 

Eleven educators representing schools across the West Central STEM Region participated in a professional learning series to incorporate drones into their classrooms.  Drones, or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) are impacting the world in many different ways, from military and defense to safety response, media coverage, agriculture and weather forecasting.  The teachers involved in this program will connect these learning opportunities to many different career pathways for their students.

In collaboration with Northwestern Michigan College (NMC), Manistee Intermediate School District (ISD), Mecosta-Osceola ISD, West Shore Educational Service District and Wexford-Missaukee ISD, each educator in the program will receive a drone to take into their classrooms.  In addition, every teacher involved in the program has taken and passed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) commercial drone license.  

The FAA Commercial Drone License is important because it allows the teachers to be out flying drones with their students legally and safely.” said Tony Sauerbrey, UAS program manager at NMC. “Many people may not understand this, but a teacher operating a drone for class (outdoors) is considered a commercial operation and it’s necessary to have the proper training and credentials.”

Teachers involved in the program teach many different kinds of classes, including mathematics, science, agriscience and digital media production.  This wide range of experience highlights the vast different ways drones can be incorporated in education.  

“Using UAVs in my classroom is a great opportunity to introduce students to another career option within agriculture and national resources,” said Jorhie Beadle, West Shore ESD Career and Technical Education Center agriscience teacher remarked. ”It teaches technological literacy, which is becoming increasingly important for the next generation of food producers and natural resource managers.”

The educators involved in the program include:

  • Jorhie Beadle – West Shore ESD CTE
  • Greg Chye – Pentwater Public Schools
  • Aaron Dore – Chippewa Hills School District
  • Morris Langworthy – Wexford-Missaukee ISD CTC
  • Cody Mallory – Cadillac Area Public Schools
  • Konrad Molter – Cadillac Area Public Schools
  • Sarah Nekola – Mason County Eastern Schools
  • John Partridge – Wexford-Missaukee ISD CTC
  • Danielle Rose  – Shelby Public Schools
  • Brian Veine – Manistee Area Public Schools
  • Eric Venglar – Ludington Area School District

The West Central STEM Region supports STEM education for Lake, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta Missaukee, Oceana, Osceola, and Wexford Counties. The West Central STEM Region is one of 16 STEM Regions in Michigan.

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