HUDSON, TX (KTRE) - Learning from the sky, without ever leaving the ground? Oh yes, it's possible. Just ask the students from the Hudson and Huntington ISDs.
"It's kind of confusing because you know that you're moving, but you're not. It'll make you a little bit dizzy if you don't get used to it," said Aaron Jones, a Huntington Middle School student.
It was all made possible thanks to a small drone. Students are getting to compete in their first-ever drone competition. The goal is to operate the remote-controlled drone using 3D glasses while successfully getting the drone through those obstacles.
"It's kind of like you're in a whole new world. In a sense, with the FPV mode, you are the drone," said Grayson Sims, a Hudson Middle School student.
The entire program is thanks to a collaboration with Lockheed Martin, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office, and a $7,500 grant. Their goal is to keep student's passion for STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math alive and well.
"Anything that has to deal with those, we try to get involved with the schools at an early level. Right down into the elementary, into the middle school, up into high school. So when it comes to a college career, we have more and more people going in to that," said Brian Llewellyn, a senior manufacturing engineer for Lockheed Martin.
It proved to be a fun, yet challenging exercise, while also racing the clock, which never stops, by the way, even if the drone crashes.
"It's very interesting when you think you've got it, and then you hit the size of an obstacle, and it just falls over," said Skylar King, a Huntington Middle School student.
It's all a first for Angelina County with plans for expansion to other area school districts in the works.
"A very unique experience, much different than I remember growing up with," said Ryan Merrel, with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office.
And if you're wondering, the Hudson teams took home 1st and 2nd place with Huntington students coming in 3rd and 4th.