Students at St. Vrain Innovation Center aim high in aeronautics class

Flying drones might seem more like a hobby than a job, but so did computers when Bill Gates and Steve Jobs began toying with the idea of personal computers.

Twenty students in the aeronautics class at the St. Vrain Valley Schools Innovation Center can speak to how drones are more than a pastime — this semester they have already fulfilled $20,000 worth of contracts pursuing their "hobby."
 
Over the last year, they have built military-grade drones for various companies, taken aerial photographs for real estate companies, tested concepts for drone delivery projects, and even designed a race track for a commercial drone racing company.
 
"I don't even think of it as a class," said Noah Lennert, a 16-year-old junior at Niwot High School. "It's just time that I get to do something that I love. Sitting down at a computer, designing (a drone) and a couple of weeks later seeing that thing fly and do its mission is a feeling that's hard to explain because it's one of the most rewarding feelings I've ever had."