Two Drone Workshop Events Already Hosted
Grossmont College received its drones from the ATRE statewide sector earlier this summer and has wasted no time putting them to use in an effort to recruit high school students to its programs.
The college has already hosted two events that brought students from local high schools to campus to see the drones in action and learn more about how they work. Faculty held a mini workshop and students had the opportunity to see the flight controller and software kit behind it.
Javier Ayala, Grossmont’s Dean of CTE and Workforce Development, said the event sparked some interest in a new career path.
“We had a lot of young women looking at STEM careers,” Ayala said. “These are areas that people don’t know about until they get into the workforce and realize they need a skill.”
Grossmont will offer a noncredit certificate designed to prepare students to take the FAA’s Part 107 drone test.
The college is also planning a two-part certificate of proficiency and certificate of achievement combination that will allow students to explore the programming behind drones rather than simply learning how to operate them.
Everything from sensors to barometers to the sensors needs to be programmed and there’s high demand for those skills at places like the U.S. Naval base in San Diego that are in Grossmont’s backyard. Grossmont already teaches computer programming languages like Java and C++ that can be applied to drones.
“We’re not preparing people to become drone pilots, that’s another college’s job,” Ayala said. “Our focus is on programming. Equipping students with the value-added skill of drone programming makes them more competitive in the job market.”
Curriculum changes will begin rolling out this fall.
Grossmont’s goal is to be the first community college in southern California to have a program in drone technology with a focus in programming and assembly — and it seems things are well underway to make that happen.