Students assembling IC aeronautics kit

The Innovation Center of St. Vrain Valley Schools’ Aeronautics Program provides an engineering and industry certification platform for students looking to prepare for a career pathway in Aviation Engineering and Flight. 

Our programming in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) partners with industry leaders to ensure aligned, college-ready coursework for students of St. Vrain Valley Schools. 

Beyond industry and higher education involvement, students of the Innovation Center’s Aeronautics Program pursue districtwide STEM connections through the use of aerial drone challenges and competitions.

Check out our YouTube Channel for the latest videos of our work, products, and projects: IC Aeronautics on YouTube


Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
• UAS Flight Training - CTE83150
• UAS Applications - AVT 255-256
• UAS FAA Part 107 Certification

Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAV)
• UAV Engineering and Design - CTE83155

Pilot Course Pathway
• Students earn a private pilot license through partnership with Aims Community College Aviation Department
• Beginning of pilot courses offered starting in Fall of 2019 at both Erie High School and Innovation Center


UAV Engineering and Design

  • UAV Engineering and Design
    - Open to all 10-12th graders (Ideally finishing UAS Flight Concepts & Training first)

    Utilizing the industry standard Aircraft Design Cycle and fabrication laboratory equipment, students will have the opportunity to engineer and design a UAV recreational and commercial fixed wing and multirotor aircraft to solve a real world problem.

UAS Flight Concepts & Training

  • UAS Flight Concepts & Training
    - Open to all 10-12th graders (No prerequisites)

    AVT 155 - Introduces and develops flight control and piloting techniques for common Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) platforms. Students learn and demonstrate maneuvers, procedures, and best practices for safe UAS operation on fixed wing and rotary wing systems. Develops the skills and knowledge required to be a pilot of a UAS in the National Airspace System. Students who are new to aviation will develop functional knowledge in the areas of pilot-in-command responsibilities, aerodynamic principles, aviation meteorology, and the flight environment.
Project Teams

UCAR Drone Project

Student working on a drone
UCAR Drone Project

This team is working on Project Canary.  They are developing a sensor suite that can be attached to a DJI Quadcopter so that scientists from the University Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) can conduct low-level atmospheric research.  The suite includes 5 gas sensors (NH3, CO2, O3, H2, CH4), a LiDAR sensor, a GPS sensor and a BME280 sensor.  The data collected via this sensor suite is then transmitted to a phone app (also developed by the students) and, from there, to an on-line database used by scientists working in the field.  To learn more, read this blog post the team wrote up for our great partner, Sparkfun!

The team meets Wednesdays from 3:30-5:15.  Its main mentor is Craig Rahenkamp, a retired engineer who worked on submarines and satellites.  The team is not actively recruiting new members at this time.

Aero Team

Innovation Center Aero Team Students flying a drone
Aero Team

The Aero team is the representative and industry application student workforce highlight of the Aeronautics program. Student designers have the opportunity to participate in sUAS research and development projects ranging from fixed wing to multirotor aircraft platforms, to new and innovative designs to be used in our marketing/community outreach sustainability program. Opportunities also include UAS contractual based work involving real estate, orthomosaic imagery, custom builds, aerial commercials, and defense work. The team also supports student UAS pilot growth, offering IC UAS Certifications in multirotor and fixed wing endorsements, and Certified Flight Instructors to maintain a high level of training opportunities within the program.