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Flying drones could lead to future jobs

GLADSTONE state school students have put their drone-flying skills to the test at CQUniversity’s Gladstone campus as part of a Gladstone Regional Council project.

The program marked the end of a 12-month community resilience project funded by the State Government as part of the CAT C ex-Cyclone Marcia initiative.

Gladstone Regional Council strategic community inclusion officer Luis Arroyo said drone use in regional schools meant students do not need to travel to capital cities to access such technology.

“The identified need was that regional and remote kids do not have access to emerging technologies, and in this guise, drones,” he said.

The program aimed to teach students about technology applications in the agriculture sector and increased student awareness of prospective job opportunities in the Gladstone Region.


Gladstone Regional Council’s Luis Arroyo presented a drone to Ubobo State School principal Jason Mattan. Caroline Tung

The Regional Agriculture Opportunities Project was delivered in three phrases.

“In the first phase, we interview lecturers and local employers in relation to agriculture and we identify that there are great opportunities,” Mr Arroyo said. The second phase, in partnership with CQUni, saw eight different schools in the Gladstone region receive 60 drones. Year 5 and 6 students learnt how to program the drones over six weeks.

Ubobo State School principal Jason Manttan said students loved learning about the technology.

“We don’t have drones in our school,” he said.

“Now the kids can actually have a bit of a go at the coding and see how that responds with the drones themselves.”

Mr Manttan believes raising awareness is the first step for students as they begin a journey with emerging technology.

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