The Laurel County Schools Center for Innovation (CFI) received an education grant to help support their Aerial Drone Project from the Jackson Energy Cooperative (JEC) for the 17-18 academic year. “Our engineering, industrial, and media programs are collaborating in the design, production, testing, and deployment of an original design aerial drone. We will have our content experts in mathematics, communications, and technology working together to lead this applied learning project with students,” said Dr. James M. Davis, CFI Principal. Davis indicated that this project is being called CJ-1 to recognize this important first collaboration between the CFI and the JEC. “We are so very pleased to have this tremendous support from our community and corporate partner, Jackson Energy,” added Davis.
“Phase one will have students in the engineering technology program begin research and design utilizing computer assisted drafting (CAD) software to develop the specifications for the component parts of the drone body and propeller systems,” remarked Mrs. Chandra Lawson, instructor of Engineering. Phase two will have students in the industrial technology program begin the fabrication and construction of the drone to include assembling the drone body, installing motor controls, integrating electronics, and programming the navigation system. Mathematics instructors, Mr. David Cummins and Mr. Jackie Robinson, will coordinate student efforts to use the 3D printers in the production and additive manufacturing phase. Mrs. Jennifer Robinson and Mrs. Jessica Davis, English instructors, will help students with research and writing their process analysis and project management reports. Phase three will involve testing the navigation and operations of the drone with the assistance of Mr. Shane Smith of the media arts technology program which operates a Phantom 3 Pro drone in capturing aerial views and video content for student productions. Phase four will include field testing the drone for use in storm damage assessments under the supervision of CFI faculty and JEC engineering technicians.