Creswell, Education

When Aviation meets Academics – Drone class gets ‘birdseye view’ on job opps

Koen Thurman, Evan Jenkins, Guiseppe Mediati, Zachary Raymond-Farmer and Kaleb Sanders sit in the Eugene Skydivers airplane. The Creswell Middle School drone class visited Hobby Field Airport on May 21 to learn about careers in the aviation field. Photo provided/Janelle Sailer

”This is my heaven,” eighth grader Lance Judy said about spending the afternoon at the airport.
Judy – who has dreamt of being an aviation mechanic since he was 6-years-old – was on of 28 students from the Creswell Middle School drone class to visit Hobby Field Airport on May 21 to learn more about careers in the aviation world.
Students had the opportunity to meet with five different businesses at the airport and learn about the opportunities each student could have in the field. Originally, the event was also going to included a trip in a plane, but weather conditions forced that activity to be rescheduled.
”It’s mostly for kids to see what real life would look like. We talk about it in class, but there’s so much more that you can’t do in a classroom,” said Sailer, science and drone studies teacher. ”So to go to the airport and see the hangars and what they could actually do, I hope it sparks some ‘I could do that’ or ‘that looks cool and interesting.’”
The collaboration between the airport and the school has been in the process for awhile, and Mike Anderson is excited to see it all come together. Anderson, who is on both the school board and airport board, helped organize the event. He said the idea has been from ”cumulation of a bunch of things.”
He explained that his motivation for all of this is to keep the students in school. He worked with Superintendent Todd Hamilton and Sailer to start the drone class at the middle school after the City worked to set up the school with their own hangar at the airport.
”I’m tickled to death to get the kids all together and the pilots are excited about us coming up,” he said.
The students met with three maintenance and restorers: Kyle Bushman of Ragweed’s Refactory, Darrin Humble of Viper Aviation and Clint Burg of Cub Works. Along with Afrika and Mark Shoemaker of Eugene Skydivers and Dorothy Schick and her instructors from Take Wing – who teach aviation classes.
Other volunteers were Jim Origliosso, Melissa Doan, Jerry Luke and Alonzo Costilla. Shelley Humble oversees the airport.
”Shelley has done a great job getting us all together,” Anderson said. ”I had a good career and now it’s my chance to give back. I guess I’m excited about it happening, it’s been a dream for awhile and it’s all coming together. (The airport) is right next door and it’s a great opportunity; there’s lots of jobs out there to do.”
For Judy, there’s no other place he would rather be.



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