Park’s ‘Tiger Eye In The Sky’ sees all
By Russ Edem 530News –
There have been clubs in schools for a long time, but here in Great Bend there is a different type of club that sees things from a birds-eye-view – the Park Elementary School’s Drone Club.
“This is a fun club for the children,” principal Phil Heeke said. “It’s their future, it teaches them about today’s technology and it even gives them a look into future jobs.”
The club has been around for three years and started as a summer program for children. After the Great Bend Recreation Commission asked club members to shoot video of the My Backyard Play Ground, the club just blossomed.
“We have a lot of possible future projects lined up over the summer,” Heeke said. “Some of the projects we have done already include the city pool, the Police Department, Fire Department and the Animal Medical Center.
According to Heeke, the biggest project members are currently working on is for Unified School District 428.
The club is taking aerial footage of school dismissals at each school. The purpose of this is to see if the district can improve on school release by tracking traffic patterns and how the bus loading goes after the children are dismissed.
“We feel this is very important for the safety of our children when school gets out,” Heeke said. “We will use this footage and make improvements to our schools.”
The club and drone
There are eight to 10 children who participate in the club, and they all have their own job. These include pilots and battery technicians.
The students at the school call the drone “Tiger Eye In The Sky” nicknamed after the school mascot.
Some children, after they moved on to their next school, come back to Park to help teach the new students on how to be pilots and working with video.
“We have several student that will come back over the summer and help teach the new pilots the basic fundamentals on flying and setting up the drone,” Heeke said.
The drone is capable of flying 400 feet in the air and a mile out. It is controlled by a built-in GPS system which allows it to be very steady during flight.
There is also an attachment on the bottom of the drone that holds a camera. The images from the camera can be seen through a cell phone or tablet during flight.
Video footage of the drone is available the Park Elementary Facebook page at www.facebook.com/parkelementarytigers.