Fourth grade students in Nathan Sistrunk’s class at Neshoba Elementary experiment with drones.
Fourth grade students in Nathan Sistrunk’s class at Neshoba Elementary experiment with drones.
The drones seen hovering around Neshoba Central last week are not part of some clandestine government operation and residents shouldn’t be worried because they’re the work of fourth grade students in Nathan Sistrunk’s class.

Anyone driving by Neshoba Central Elementary school might have noticed drones whizzing around overhead on the playground.  

Sistrunk said he introduced his students to drones because he was shocked that many of his students did not have experience with them.

“It is amazing to me how many students really do not have access to drones,” he said.

Sistrunk noted that there are three drones that students have access to in his classroom. He noted that while drones have a fun element to them for young students, the goal is to educate them on basics relating to mathematics and engineering.

“One of the things I would like to do is take them on a football field trip after testing,” Sistrunk said. “Give them measurements and have them use the drones for those measurements.”

He explained that the idea would be to use the field and have students land the drone in precise locations based upon given measurements.

“We try to do as much as possible with the drones,” he said.

Sistrunk said that his goal is also to familiarize students with drones as career fields in drone usage are opening up every day.

“If we can start kids early learning how to use drones, it can help them later in life,” he said.

Many of the students we spoke to talked about how much fun the drones are to operate.

“It is pretty fun,” Hunter Weems, 10, said. “I like that we do a lot of STEM projects with it.”

“I have used it many times,” Kalie Carroll, 9, said. “I like that you can do flips and stuff with it.”

Students Bobby Warren, 10, and Anslee Gray, 10, and Dixie Hines, 10, also said they really liked performing flips with the drone.

“I like how difficult it is,” Claydi Willis, 10, said. “When you start doing it you have to see where it is going. I have taken photo and video with the drone.”

Some students had fun even when things didn’t go so well. Student Laney Carroll said, “I haven’t done many things with it. I ran into a table and almost hit Mr. Sistrunk with it.”

Friday afternoon, Sistrunk had students fly the drone near the building by the playground area. The drone available that day did not do any flips or tricks, but students were able to move it up and down and around a limited area, while the other students watched.

“We try to work with the drones at least once a week,” Sistrunk said.