March 22, 2014
MAD RIVER TOWNSHIP — STEM students at Greenon High School are using industry-standard drone software in class, through the donation of the $200,000 program from AGI (Analytical Graphics, Inc).
“This is an exciting opportunity for our students to use an advanced software package that is the industry standard in the fields of aerospace, intelligence gathering and defense,” said STEM teacher Jim Shaner. “Because we are an educational institution, our students have been able to use this $200,000 dollar program for free and may have the opportunity to receive STK Certification upon completion of the course.”
Students are using the software in class to model responses to a natural disaster. They will use “drone” data to map out where damage has occurred and create a safe evacuation plan that could be sent to a mobile app.
“Students are able to create detailed computer simulations of real world scenarios, using real world data. It is exhilarating for a student to be able to faithfully recreate the behavior of a Lockheed C-130 Hercules plane being used in fire-fighting, a predator drone doing surveillance over the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan, or the satellite activity required to accurately pinpoint location,” said Shaner.
“Insights gained through the STK program have led to in-depth discussions about the efficacy and morality of unmanned aerial surveillance programs. Abstract concepts of physics and engineering suddenly become more concrete with the ability to accurately depict situations. Knowing that this is the same software used by professionals has given our students an unparalleled look into an exciting STEM field of study.”
The STEM course at Greenon High School is an elective course taught by Shaner, Technology teacher Cindy Clauss and Art teacher Kevin Ferguson. The year-long course covers modeling, simulation, surveillance and response.