Drone course provides new opportunities

Kayla Curry

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The recently introduced Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones) course provides students with a set of skills needed to succeed in the growing STEM field. Instructor Grant Brewer guides students in developing skills in using computers for flight simulators, CADD design and 3D Modeling, and programming for the drones they build. Students also utilize 3D printers to build replacement parts and construct their own drones, along with mathematics and science principles relating to the four forces of flight: lift, thrust, drag, and weight.
“We are aiming to teach students how to safely and appropriately operate, build, and maintain drones. We are also preparing students to become college and career ready to use drones for either their own entrepreneurial endeavors or for many other industries that are utilizing drones,” Brewer said.
Brewer serves as a member of the Curriculum Team through the Arkansas Department of Career Education in an attempt to equip students with not only STEM skills but career skills. The UAS program currently stands as one of six in the state giving it the power to influence what future UAS programs might look like. Recently, Brewer earned $1000 in a 60 second business idea pitch contest for a small drone photography business he started, and through his own business, he hopes to encourage his students to pursue entrepreneurship of their own upon completing the program.
“STEM programs have not only grown at Southside, but in education in general. STEM programs provide students with real-world scenarios and opportunities to apply the knowledge and concepts they are learning in specific classes. STEM programs also provide opportunities for collaboration and idea sharing between different subjects and fields. Students from my class could use the skills they learn with drones to complete a history project over a Civil War Battlefield, like Prairie Grove for example. The possibilities are endless,” Brewer said.

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Drone course provides new opportunities