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.
The Aeronautics Program currently offers two pathways. Students have the option to be involved in both depending on individual course load. The Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) pathway focuses on student conceptual, practical, and the engineering of drones to be utilized in our Federal Airspace. Students have the opportunity to earn their FAA Part 107 UAS Commercial Certification. The Pilot pathway, endorsed and support by Aims Community College of Aviation Programs, focuses on the ground training content needed to pass the FAA Private Pilot written exam. With the support of qualified staff and industry Certified Flight Instructors, student pilots can get a step ahead in the career field of becoming a commercial pilot.
UAS Flight Concepts & Training: CTE83150: Fall & Spring
- Open to all 9-12th 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.
UAV Engineering and Design: CTE83155: Fall & Spring
- Open to all 9-12th graders (Ideally finishing UAS Flight Concepts & Training first)
- This is a required course for students participating in the Erie High School Aerospace pathway.
- Course requirement Year 2 Semester 2 of Erie High School’s Aerospace pathway within their Academy of Engineering & Aerospace
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 Applications: CTE83151: Fall
- Open to all 10-12th graders
Students get involved with UAS industry related work and support in the Aeronautics program development. Students learn to work on project teams, develop scopes of work, apply engineering principles and design thinking practices, utilize new fabrication equipment, manage contractual and non- contractual based UAS work. Students could option for SVVSD employment.
UAS Design Integrations 1 – CTE83152: Fall & Spring
- Open to 11-12th graders who have completed UAS Flight Concepts & Training (CTE83150) and UAVED (CTE83155)
In a one to two semester project of study, students design a new product/ process solution through a COTS UAS drone integration approach. Utilizing the design thinking model and Innovation Center technologies, students learn to develop a UAS centered problem and work with the current industry for possible design solutions. This course partners with the IC Entrepreneurial program for student business fundamentals and practices.
UAS Design Integrations 2: CTE83153: Fall & Spring
- Open to 11-12th Graders who have completed UAS Design Integrations 1 (CTE83152)
In a one- to two-semester project of study, students will design a new product/ process solution through a COTS UAS drone integration approach. Utilizing the design thinking model and innovation center technologies, students will learn to develop a UAS centered problem and work with current industry for possible design solutions. This course partners with the IC Entrepreneurial program for student business fundamentals and practices.
Pilot Ground 1: CTE83157: Fall & Spring
- Open to all 10th-12th graders
This course begins the SVVSD Private Pilot course pathway for students interested in exploring careers in the general aviation industry. Prepares students for the Private Pilot Airplane, Single Engine, Land – FAA Knowledge Exam. Included in this course will be a look at Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Control, aviation airspace, aviation weather, future aviation and careers in aviation.
Pilot Ground 2: CTE83158: Fall & Spring
- Open to all students who have completed Pilot Ground 1 (CTE83157)
Final ground course preparation for students and the Private Pilot Airplane, Single Engine, Land – FAA Knowledge Exam.
AVT101 Private Pilot Ground School: CTE83165: Fall & Spring
- Open to all students 10th-12th graders
- Aims con-current enrollment- 4 credits
- Fee for FAA Private Pilot Airplane knowledge exam (TBA)
Private Pilot Ground School presents the fundamentals of aviation for the beginning student pilot which includes a study of a Cessna C-172 Skyhawk and its components, aerodynamics, basic aircraft systems, the airport environment, air-traffic control procedures, Federal Aviation Regulations, the basic elements of air navigation including radio navigation, and aviation weather. This course will prepare the student for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Private Pilot Airplane knowledge examination, an industry certificate that brings them closer to becoming a certified Private Pilot. Students will be able to learn real pilot skills such as precision flying, navigation, procedures, maneuvers, and communications and become proficient in FAA Airmen Certificate Standards (ACS). Students will be prepared to begin flight training at local flight schools and obtain college course credit.
AVT107 Aviation Discovery: CTE83160: Fall & Spring
- Open to all students 9th-12th graders
- Aims con-current course- 3 credits
Aviation Discovery introduces students to the aviation industry. This course teaches about technologies of the past, present and foreseeable future of aviation and aerospace and prepares students for careers in aviation by creating pathways and developing skills required in the field. We explore from the beginnings of aviation to aviation in the future. There will be a look at the history of airships, aviation pioneers, Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Control, aviation airspace, aviation weather, future aviation and careers in aviation. By the end of this course, we hope students have a great understanding of aviation and the limitless potential of the industry.
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.
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.