The Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) is the first public school district in the nation to partner with the Tesla Foundation to provide students with training to successfully work in the emerging technology field of unmanned aviation, or drones.
A nonprofit science and technology think tank, the Tesla Foundation is launching its initiative beginning at Magnolia High School with after-school programs featuring FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approved curriculum, equipment, and Drone Flight Simulation Kits.
The foundation’s goal is to identify and develop a “farm system” of young talent that can be future innovators and entrepreneurs in the unmanned systems industry. “We are excited to partner with the District in this most critical endeavor,” said Keith Coleman, chief strategy officer of the foundation. “Our focus is looking at the future of jobs and the future of work. Automation and the disruption that it will bring is real, yet while jobs will be lost, there will be lots of new opportunities in the (new) field of aerial robotics. Through this partnership, we will help move the needle forward for underrepresented students who may not otherwise have a pathway to these experiences. The Tesla Foundation sees critical thinking and access to technology as the democratization of opportunity.”
Trustee Al Jabbar thanked Superintendent Mike Matsuda for making the connection that led to the partnership. He also thanked the Tesla Foundation for “recognizing that AUHSD is at the cutting edge in preparing students for the 21st Century workforce. Once parents and the community learn about how this partnership promotes innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship in an emerging STEAM field, I know they will be as enthusiastic as we are.” The Tesla Foundation estimates that the economic impact of drones will be $82 billion within the first decade of their operational integration into the national airspace system. Drone industries leverage many key technologies, including cybersecurity, sensors, data analytics, aeronautics, aviation, Additive Manufacturing, precision agriculture, first responders, geospatial information, and simulation.