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Alpha Academy, a K-12th grade charter school, is providing free drone training to high school students.

“This academy is preparing the next workforce generation,” Jeffries Epps, CEO of STEMERALD City LLC, said.

Students can now earn a drone operator license through the academy’s Drone Remote Pilot Institute. Alpha Academy has partnered with STEMERALD City and Nine Ten Drones LLC to provide the training for staff and students.

“That is a certification that is given to them by the Federal Aviation Administration, which basically permits them to commercially fly drones and charge for their services,” Epps said.




The minimum starting pay for drone pilots is $75 an hour, he said. Many corporate-level companies, such as Amazon, are now using drone delivery. Students are required to program a drone using JavaScript, a scripting language designed to run inside webpages, and build a drone from a kit before they can be certified.

“The final phase now is certification,” Epps said. “We’ve taught them to think like drone pilots, we’ve taught them to build drones, now we are going to teach them the rules and regulations to be certified professional pilots.”


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Timber Wolf