Drone class launched at Lakeside

By Josh Beavers

Lakeside Jr./Sr. High School is home to a unique class that was first offered before the Covid pandemic struck. But now the world is returning to “normal,” it is the hope of the course instructor that the Lakeside Drone Class will begin flying high once again.

“The Lakeside drone class is a highly-interactive educational opportunity that teaches students how to safely and effectively operate drones for commercial use,” said Logan Cammack, Lakeside’s American History teacher and drone instructor. “Students are taught aeronautical physics, drone maintenance, airspace, and the operational and safety procedures of airports and pilots.”

Cammack is one of two Lakeside teachers who attended a week-long training in the summer of 2020 where they learned all the safety rules and regulations as well as the ins and outs of flying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). They then passed a test with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in order to instruct others. The test earned them FAA drone licenses.

When asked what he hopes students get out of the class, Cammack said, “This class aims to not only teach students about operating drones but also to open their eyes to career opportunities in the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry.”

Cammack said the job market for the skills taught in this class are growing each year. “The military, oil and gas industry, wedding industry, and media outlets (among many others) are looking to hire employees with training and experience flying drones,” he continued. “While in this class students can earn FAA certification to fly drones commercially at the age of 16.”

Cammack said the class is not considered extra-curricular but part of a Jump Start pathway. The Journal has extensively covered the Jump Start initiative launched by the state in previous updates and has more coverage coming in the weeks ahead. As part of this path, students earn high school credit while simultaneously becoming certified to fly drones.

Photo above: Lakeside drone instructor Logan Cammack launches the school’s UAV before a football game last year. The drone class was offered in the spring of 2020, but the Covid pandemic halted its success.