Our Program

“We greatly look forward to this partnership moving forward in a collaborative environment that fosters learning, STEM educational opportunities for the youth in our area, and while providing highly advanced technological resources to help better manage our projects and the lands of the Tribe and everyone in our area benefit from.” From our letter of commitment from the Consolidated Tribes of Siletz Indians.

pilotsCareer Tech Charter High School Pilot Class of 2016-2017

There are only 120,000 licensed drone pilots in the United States and FAA projects registering almost 3,000,000 drones by 2020. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) forecasts that there could be up to 150,000 new jobs in industries such as agriculture, oil/gas, electric utilities, infrastructure inspection, and many others. Many (if not most) of these jobs will be from within organizations, such as government agencies. While there are many estimates and forecasts, one thing is certain: drones are here to stay and they are bringing real-world job opportunities with them!

Career Tech High School is a public school in the Lincoln County School District. We are located in Lincoln City in the City Hall Building. We are a high school with 9-12 grade, have around 50 students, and 11 teaching staff members.

Coastal Drone Academy is a Science, Technical, Engineering, and Math (STEM) extension program within Career Tech Charter High School in Lincoln City, Oregon. Coastal Drone Academy’s full name is the Natural Resource Management and Marine Service Program as it was reviewed and approved by the State of Oregon Department of Education, as an Oregon Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. It is in its second year, we have already trained over 40 student pilots and given them dozens of hours of commercial flight time. We are licensed and approved to teach marine science by entering the US airspace with unmanned aerial vehicles to do it. We combine marine science, education, and science concepts to do it. For each aspect we use a nationally recognized curriculum.


Recent Interview With the Unmanned Safety Institute:  When asked about how the Unmanned Safety Institute curriculum has improved their program, Dr. Getter says: “Here at the Coastal Drone Academy, our overall approach is to enter US airspace to carry out out marine science research.”

He added, “USI’s student workbooks are the primary guide for our students’ aviation training program. Ms. Rogers and I don’t know how we would teach without USI’s curriculum and their personnel helping us set it up. Because we now have a structured curriculum, texts, and workbooks in the aviation portion of our course, we get to focus on our true specialty which is marine science, and to use the USI curriculum as a training tool to allow us to merge marine science with the safe and legal use of drones.”

Ms. Rogers says, “I have spent the last four years with these students training them in forestry, marine science and fisheries, and now because we have USI’s well thought out, and easy to teach aviation curriculum, that dovetails our science technical program, we can pull it off. Without it, this would be impossible. Also, USI’s teaching program gives us the confidence that even though we are primarily a marine science program we are teaching an aviation program that legitimately makes us are able to teach students to enter US airspace legally and safely.”

Dr. Getter and Ms. Rogers recently completed a bi-annual review of the Coastal Drone Academy program’s performance, as it enters it second year, and concluded, “Since setting up this program the number of students has doubled in size and our enrollment has even gone at the school itself. Students from other schools are inquiring about our school because of our drone program. In fact, all (100%) of our students who have challenged the FAA 107 have passed it, and even though our courses having a reputation for being challenging, over 90% of the students who take them have finished the term.”

Dr. Getter is quick to add, “Not a small issue is student and equipment safety.” Since incorporating USI’s safety curriculum, we have a perfect track record with no injuries nor have we has any significant property damage. The USI curriculum’s emphasis on FAA regulations, and especially the heavy emphasis on using checklists, inspections, and the focus on situational awareness all get credit for this happening in my opinion.”

proCollege Credit for Coastal Drone Academy Courses
We are finalizing the process to count our courses for college credit at Central Oregon Community College in Aviation starting in 2018.

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Safety is our first concern considering the marine environment in which we work. Students and staff are all Red Cross First Aid, Heartsaver and CPR certified.

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