Mccloud requests drone piloting class

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With a love for all things electronic, English teacher Scott McCloud found an interest in building, buying and flying drones. What started out as a hobby with his father has turned into an opportunity for a drone piloting class at the high school.
Three years ago, McCloud first acquired his drone flying license by taking a test with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Those with the certification are required to redo the test every two years to keep their credentials up-to-date.
“Mainly [the license is] so you learn how to fly it safely so you don’t get in the way of airplanes that have people on them or helicopters. That would be bad,” McCloud said.
In order to fly drones, McCloud first had to acquire one. After building one himself, he now purchases his drones from various online companies such as Amazon.
“[I own] both multirotors sand fixed-wing airplanes. I fly a lot of radio-controlled airplanes and radio controlled cars and radio controlled trucks and I get to do that with my dad for the things we share. So yeah, I’ve been buying drones, lots of drones,” McCloud said.
With his drones, he records footage for various events, from wedding receptions to construction inspections. While McCloud could stand to make a profit for his work, he often does not charge customers for his services.
“It’s just pure fun,” McCloud said. “It’s just a hobby. I have my professional license to fly drones, so I could charge money, but I don’t.”
In addition to providing his service for community members, McCloud has shot footage for the high school, taping homecoming float building and providing footage for the school yearbook. He enjoys being able to assist school entities.
“I’ve flown a few things for the school if they are interested. Like I shot float building and I shot the parking lot, you know the painting. And if they want it, great\; if they don’t, cool,” McCloud said.
With a passion for flying drones and acknowledgement of elevating drone piloting career opportunities, McCloud suggested that a drone piloting class be incorporated into the high school curriculum.
However, before the class can be offered to students, it must be approved by the Board of Education (BOE). This means that the request must go through a chain of command, starting with principal Lisa Moore, then assistant superintendent, the superintendent and finally, the BOE. McCloud said that the first step in the process occurred on Friday Oct. 28.
“[The request is] still in play. They haven’t said no yet. That’s what you’re waiting for, ‘Have they said no or not?’,” McCloud said.
As of now, the only person with the credentials to teach class is McCloud himself, however the school would more than likely require a teacher within the given pathway to acquire a license. He said that if the class were to be added to the curriculum, it would be in one of two Career Technical Education (CTE) pathways.
“It would be part of engineering and agriculture out in CTE. It would be part of the ag academy because the drone could fly crops and study plant health,” McCloud said. “If not there, then it would be engineering, aerospace engineering, Project Lead the Way, that kind of stuff. At that point they would be building drones as opposed to just flying drones and interpreting the data.”
Currently, McCloud said he has had positive responses from students, especially those that are interested in technology, broadcasting and film motion.
“It’s a new career and there’s not a lot of people doing it. So there’s a chance for kids who like technical stuff, robots, stuff like that, flying robots. Also anybody who’s into news, videography, filmmaking,” McCloud said.

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