Career options fly high at South Range

CANFIELD — Rosa Pascolini was intrigued by what she saw flying in the air, though the career she hopes one day to land will leave her considerably more grounded.

“I want to grow up to be a veterinarian,” the South Range Middle School sixth-grader and animal lover said.

In the meantime, she and many other students in grades five to eight turned their eyes to the sky from the bleachers to watch a drone demonstration Tuesday afternoon at the school’s football field off state Route 46.

“I learned that drones can go way far and high up and can take pictures. They are in many sizes, shapes and colors,” Rosa observed.

Conducting the 30-minute demonstration was Trent Casi of Denver, who founded a business called Cleartopia Solutions, which is a hardware dealer for Wingtra, Skydio and Triad drones, the first two of which he used for the demonstration.

The 2-year-old company also provides data collection services, training, program consulting, software and support in the geospatial industry, according to its website.

The industry centers largely around aerial mapping, surveying and geographic information systems, said Casi, who also has served as past president and vice president of the American Society of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry for the Rocky Mountain region.

The orange Wingtra drone, the likes of which are manufactured in Zurich, can fly up to 400 feet with a top speed of 35 mph, both of which the drone did during Tuesday’s demonstration. It also has vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, meaning it can easily operate in small spaces, Casi said, adding that Denver is the epicenter of the geospatial industry.

Plans are in the works to implement a drone certification class in next year’s curriculum beginning with eighth-graders, South Range Middle School Principal Dan Szolek said. The course will be the first step toward allowing the students to continue with it through their high school years.

“The ultimate goal is for students to obtain a drone license by the time they graduate from high school,” Szolek said, adding, “We brought Trent Cosi here to give the students a little idea of what drones can do.”

In addition, remotely-piloted aircrafts offer multiple opportunities for careers in the technology field, Casi said. He also has received letters of support, including from farmers and those with real estate companies. Casi added.

Drones have the ability to aerially photograph everything from new homes for sale and corresponding properties to fences that farmers need repaired to dead animals they need removed. They also have thermal-imaging cameras that can capture poaching and other illegal activities, Casi said.

“There are endless opportunities we want to provide to students looking for something other than the traditional career paths,” he said.

Casi said that drones also represent a burgeoning field with numerous career possibilities for young people to consider.

“I hope the kids know it’s a growing industry for the future, because it’s a future with drones,” he said.

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