Conestoga Valley High School buzzing about drones

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EAST LAMPETER TWP., Pa. - Several students in Anthony Thomas's television production and video classes have likened it to Christmas morning.

That was the day their drone arrived, and they have been tinkering with the piece of cutting-edge technology ever since.

“It was really cool,” Ben Cutler, a Conestoga Valley High School senior who manned the controller Wednesday, said. “We flew it all the way over to the middle school the one day, which was really neat.”

It may be a fun way for students to learn about technology, but the school says it is just scratching the surface on all the uses for these drones.

“It won't solely be used in the video program; we're going to use it with an aviation class that plans on utilizing it,” Anthony Thomas, a teacher in the high school’s technology education program, said. “We have some photo classes that plan on using it, [and] our robotics program plans on using it as well.”

The students plan on getting a bird's eye view of school events like sports and pep rallies, incorporating them into their morning announcements.

The pictures are breathtaking, and a point of pride for the students.

“There's a video up and my parents were talking about it and I showed some of my friends, and they were so excited about it, so yeah, it's pretty cool,” Abby Samuelson, a junior in the class, said.

“It's really neat to have stuff in the curriculum that kids do have a passion for and are really excited, and I can't say enough about the drone,” Thomas said.

The Conestoga Valley School District has two drones. It acquired the first one through a grant, while Thomas bought the other one with unallocated classroom budget funds, now that drones are better and more affordable. They are also putting students at the cutting edge of photography.

“You're surprised, you look at cameras that were older, maybe 5 to 7 years old, and then you just go to something that's from today, and you look at the video quality and it's unbelievable how much things can change in such a short period of time,” Mitchell Daneker, a junior in the class, said.

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