Worrel Awarded Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grant

St. Patrick science teacher Deborah L. Worrel was named a 2021 Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grant recipient.  The grant itself is funded by Hancock Whitney and administered by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.  The grant recognizes and rewards teachers who are creating education opportunities for students inside and outside the classroom.  

Worrel received a grant totalling $2,000 for eight H501S X4 AIR drones. The drones will be used specifically for her “Eyes in the Sky” project that focused on the means of aerial data for landscape. Each drone is equipped with a camera and controller.  

On Thursday, January 13, Mrs. Worrel’s Engineering class took part in launching drones for a mock Search and Rescue mission during class.  The class was divided into groups and students were assigned a drone and were introduced to the launching process.  As the groups launched their drones, their objective was to maneuver the drone to the “warehouse” and determine the structural integrity of the warehouse and the presence of specific objects inside.  Students maneuvered their drones into their respective warehouses to see what was inside as part of the Search and Rescue process. 

“Drones are being used for Search and Rescue for weather, landscape observation, and other circumstances,” Worrel said.  “The objective of using these drones was to relate the Search and Rescue assignment to instances that occur today.”

“Flying drones is just a building block to what many engineering careers do today,” said Blake Williams ‘22.  

As the groups finished up the assignment, they were able to glimpse at what some engineer careers hold with the use of drones.

Written by Caty Otero

Photos by Molly Bowen