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High school students learn about expanding drone industry.

Purdue at WestGate hosted it's First Tuesday program.

Posted: Mar. 5, 2019 6:09 PM

CRANE, Ind. (WTHI) - Garret Blake is a senior at Barr-Reeve. Blake knows the direction he wants to take out of high school. However, his career path has been more difficult to pin down.

Blake says, "I've always had like an interest in engineering and like technology. But I just don't know what field I want to go into yet. So I thought this would be good like learning tool to see if unmanned systems did interest me."

Blake's story is like many others at Barr-Reeve and Bloomfield. But Tuesday those students had a chance to experience the drone industry.

Purdue foundry director Jason Salstrom "We're trying to connect those resources. We've got great academic resources here ISU, IU, Purdue. Unfortunately, a lot of that engineering, scientific talent, leaves the state. So we want to create more opportunity here."

One resource was Indiana State University's drone program. Associate professor Mike Collins says the industry is quickly expanding.

Collins says, "Indiana realizes that there is a commercial opportunity out there. Commercial applications for unmanned systems is about to take off."

Collins says that commercial drone operations could start ramping up as soon as 2020. Meaning more jobs available for graduating students.

Blake says, "This is definitely helping me. I don't know if it'd be like drones or unmanned systems. It's just definitely something, like new technology that I am wanting to go into."

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