WATERSOUND, Fla. (WMBB) — Some Walton County students are now able to get hands-on experience with an increasingly popular tool.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office donated $50,000 worth of drones to the Magnet Innovation Center.

Drone technology has exploded in popularity in the last decade.

They’re used across industries, in video production, real estate, search and rescue, and much more.

Walton County Sheriff’s deputies have used drones for the last few years.

When the department recently bought new ones, they decided to donate the surplus tech to MIC.

“Maybe they want to have some sort of additional training but also jobs that in the future they will be able to utilize these so being able to give these back to somebody versus just having them sit on a shelf and have them become completely obsolete, that’s kind of the mission we see at the sheriff’s office,” Capt. Dustin Cosson said.

The school received two large and two smaller drones from the sheriff’s office.

“These drones will be invaluable to our coding and computer science students who are going to be learning how to apply their coding knowledge and the languages they are learning into real-life applications including using drones,” MIC principal Kate Benson said.

The Magnet Innovation Center is a STEAM school in its third year of instruction.

“Our school really has a huge emphasis on science, technology engineering, and art,” Student Body President Elijah Smartt said. “With these drones that were donated from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, they are a perfect opportunity for students to learn to practice and learn how to fly drones which is something that’s really important for many industries.”

Students hope the drones will also allow the school to expand or even add additional classes like robotics.

“It will help us to hopefully add new programs into our school,” student Lainey Whitten said. “Maybe we can have an entire robotics class rather than just a robotics club and hopefully, that is something that we will be integrating in the long run but also just helping with a further understanding of what is around us.”

One of the drones will be used for parts to give engineering students a closer look at how the technology works.