This content was originally published by the Longmont Observer and is licensed under a Creative Commons license.
*UPDATE:The Innovation Center services students of all ages throughout St. Vrain Valley Schools, not just grades 9-12.
Just six weeks ago, the Innovation Center began its aeronautics program. In that short amount of time, the students have learned a great deal about aeronautics. They are using kits to build fixed-wing planes, using foam board to design their own model planes, learning how to piece together drones from the body up and wiring all of them to fly via remote control.
The Innovation Center provides programs for students in grades 9-12. These programs are designed to teach students skills that have marketable applications. In addition to teaching skills, the Innovation Center reaches out to the community to find jobs for the students to apply their skills. That can include an entire program or a single student working on a paid project.
The Aeronautics Program has several jobs in the works for its students. One project is to create a time-lapse of the construction of the new Innovation Center. Every day, a drone will fly around the construction site and take video of the progress. When the new building opens its doors in 2018, the Aeronautics Program will have a short video of the construction.
Another project that the Aeronautics Program is placing a bid for is a Drone Zone Arena. This facility house a drone race track that is open to the public. The bid is due around Thanksgiving 2017. If the Aeronautics Program is granted the bid then the students will design the course, set up the facility according to their design, dictate what the customer receives and many students will get jobs working with customers at the facility.
In addition to working paid jobs in the community, this founding group of students are helping Aeronautics Instructor Jacob Marshall, to create the curriculum for classes that will be taught in the Fall of 2018.
Let's meet some members of the 2017 Aeronautics Team:
This is Avery Fails and her cargo plane. She has spent several weeks researching and building it. She hopes to finish building and wiring the plane to fly in the next week. After she achieves flight she will begin testing the plane to see what possible applications it might present. She specifically wants to test how accurate a drop zone she can achieve. After her testing is done she will look for commercial applications and try to market her planes abilities.
Eduardo Malloy built his F22 Raptor out of foam board. The next step in the process of building the F22 Raptor is to paint it before adding the wiring to make the plane fly. He chose to build the F22 Raptor in order to understand the basic mechanics of the plane. Once this project is finished he wants to move onto learning more about how drones are built and how they work.
This is Iain Hak. He is building a Versacopter Racing Drone. He is patiently waiting for his flight control circuits to arrive in the mail. He is currently using a kit to build a drone but hopes to design his own in the near future. Iain mentioned several applications of drone use. He included: security, transportation, delivery services, search and rescue and even the performance arts.
If you would like to learn more about the Innovation Center you can visit their website at http://innovation.svvsd.org/. The Aeronautics Team has a YouTube channel where you can see several of their projects. They post a video weekly. They also have Facebook and Instagram pages for you to visit.