Ohio’s Drone Revolution: Educating Tomorrow’s ‘Dronepreneurs’

Ohio's Rich Aviation Legacy Takes a New Flight

In , a state celebrated for its aviation heritage from the Wright brothers to John Glenn, a new chapter in aerial innovation is unfolding through an exciting drone program in Trumbull County. This initiative, funded by a significant federal grant, is set to educate and inspire the next generation in the field of .

The Drone Program Takes Flight With Federal Funding

The Trumbull County Educational Service Center has received a $650,000 allocation from the federal government, part of last year's appropriations act.

This funding is specifically aimed at creating a comprehensive educational initiative around drone technology, reports Ideastream.org.

A Four-Tiered Approach to Drone Education

This program is structured into four distinct components:

  1. A new middle school curriculum focusing on drones,
  2. Expanded drone racing leagues,
  3. A pre-apprenticeship program for high school students,
  4. An unmanned air mobility center at the county's technical school.

This multifaceted approach promises to offer a thorough grounding in drone technology and its applications.

Empowering Students with Drone Skills and Experience

Students like sophomore Preston Ficeti are at the heart of this program. Ficeti, who learned to fly drones through his school's drone racing program, exemplifies the hands-on, engaging nature of the initiative. The expansion of drone racing teams across the county, supported by the new funding, will allow more students to build, understand, and skillfully operate drones.

Ohio's Drone Revolution: Educating Tomorrow's 'Dronepreneurs' 2

Ed Mackiewicz, the program's spearhead, emphasizes the comprehensive nature of the learning process. Students aren't just flying drones; they're delving into the mechanics of drone construction and operation, gaining a deep understanding of the technology.

Beyond the Classroom: Drones in the Workforce

The ‘dronepreneur' program is more than just a school activity; it's a step towards integrating drones into the local workforce and keeping the technology within the . Endorsements from figures like U.S. Representative David Joyce and former Congressman Tim Ryan highlight the program's potential impact on STEM and future industry participation.

Expanding Opportunities

The pre-apprenticeship program is a pathway for students to gain commercial drone licenses and practical experience through internships, offering a direct link to industry-recognized credentials. The program also collaborates with local schools to include unmanned aircraft programs, further broadening student prospects in drone technology.

Shaping the Future of Drone Technology

As students like Preston Ficeti focus on honing their skills and leading their teams, the broader implications of the ‘dronepreneur' program in Trumbull County are clear. It's not just about mastering drone racing; it's about preparing a new generation for diverse opportunities in drone technology, from commercial piloting to various applications in real estate, journalism, agriculture, and law enforcement.

This drone program marks a significant step in continuing Ohio's legacy of aviation and innovation, shaping the future of drone technology both locally and nationally.

Photos courtesy of E. Gottsacker / The Ohio Newsroom

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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