This new school year, students at Shawnee High School will have the opportunity to work with drones, robots and computers in two new courses officially approved by the Shawnee Board of Education in their monthly meeting Monday night.

According to Assistant Superintendent Teresa Wilkerson, the district received a $50,000 Carl Perkins Growth and Emerging Technologies grant which is being used to buy drones, robots and other materials for the school's new courses.

"The first class is Intro to Aerospace and it covers drones and some prognostics stuff and teaches kids to code to use those kinds of things to help them be more prepared for the world their going to be graduating to," Wilkerson said.

In addition to Introduction to Aerospace, Wilkerson said SHS will offer a dual course called Introduction to Computer Science and Robotics in which students will earn their science and computer science credits.

Other grants were also used to fund the two courses and the equipment students will get to use Wilkerson said.

She also explained new teacher, Ryan Busler, was hired to teach the Intro to Aerospace course to ninth through twelves graders and science educator Josh Watson will teach Intro to Computer Science and Robotics to tenth through twelfth graders as Algebra I is a prerequisite for the course.

"(This) is awesome for kids because they get to explore in both areas," Wilkerson said.

In addition to educating high school students, the Assistant Superintendent explained Busler will be teaching similar week-long units to students at the elementary schools.

Now that the classes are approved, students are encouraged to enroll and Wilkerson said the district will work hard to fill up desks.

"They're brand new courses so what we're going to do is we're going to hit it hard and we're going to be advertising and pushing out that these courses are available...and we have a lot of kids interested in these things," Wilkerson said.

Students will have the first 10 days of classes to change their schedules and enroll in these new courses Wilkerson explained.