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PCC acquires high-tech drones for WOO and EPT

25 August 2016

Two programs at Pratt Community College are utilizing technology trends inside of the classroom. Wildlife Outfitting and Operations (WOO) and Electrical Power Technology (EPT) are using drones to train students new ways to incorporate technology into their two different industries.
PCC purchased four 4 DJI Inspire 1 drones to use between the two programs. Both are using technology in different ways than before.
WOO instructor Luke Laha teaches every class in the program from Wildlife Business, Hunter Education to Outdoor Media Production. The Outdoor Media Production class explores photography and videography for the outdoors and now aerial videography. Using video and imagery to help create or market a business or product.
Students will gain extensive training on operation of the drones to capture 4K video and high resolution pictures. At the end of the semester they will use footage from the drones and other media sources to create a commercial for a business or product.
Laha will also be able to utilize the drones to prepare for the class as well. He has already began shooting video that he will use to teach the class about video techniques, framing and video editing.
Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick is supportive of bringing technology into the classroom and giving students an opportunity to utilize new technologies that can help them in the workforce.
“It’s beneficial for these programs to think about their curriculum differently and being open to technological trends,” said Fitzpatrick. “Our mission is to serve the need of the student and give them tools to be successful when they move on.”
The drones are tools for creativity as well as productivity. The Electrical Power Lineman program will be training students for certification, a new course added to the curriculum.
“A year ago the lineman industry in Kansas held discussions on advanced technologies and how to utilize them,” said Dave Campbell, EPT Instructor. “Students will now have the opportunity to be trained and receive a drone certification which is what employers in the state want.”
The drones will be used in the field by the lineman to assess damage or issues from a distance. In a case where a lineman may not be able to quickly and safely troubleshoot a problem the drones can go in and get footage of the issue in real time which will help expedite the planning process. Weather conditions and busy highways are examples of when sending a drone in rather than a person could be beneficial.
“We embrace technology in our industry,” said Campbell. “When it changes it’s for the better and makes the job easier to accomplish which in turn helps give a quality service for power supply.”
WOO and EPT are just two examples of Tech Programs at PCC. To learn more about these programs and others visit prattcc.edu/technical-education.

Luke Laha, WOO Instructor

Aerial view of Pratt Community College image taken by the PCC Drone