The buzz of a quadcopter drone filled the air on the field at East Iredell Middle School on Tuesday.

Sixth-grader Jasiyas Smith, 12, moved his drone forward slowly, lifted it off the ground and tried to get it to do a front flip and then a back flip using a handhold tablet as a controller.

“I like flying the drones, and it’s pretty easy to do once you get the hang of it,” he explained.

Smith and some of his peers were participating in an onsite school field trip that was set up as a mobile classroom outside called Betabox learning Tuesday afternoon.

Betabox offers hands-on learning experiences for students in K-12.

Career Technical Education teacher Wendy Arnette said that students were able to participate in coding robots, programming drones and other technology related activities.

“I talk to my students about technology. I let them know that technology is always changing and adapting. They need to be able to adapt and change with technology and these activities expose them to careers that they might one day have,” Arnette explained.

Betabox STEM Instructor Malinda Williams led a small group of students inside the mobile classroom in a coding lesson.

Students first learned to program their autonomous cars and then were given some explanations of the sensors and motherboard of the vehicle. After that, they took them outside to drive them and race one another.

Iredell-Statesville Schools STEM Director Debra Lester said that the Betabox mobile unit was made possible through a grant that the district received.

Other middle schools scheduled to participate this week include Third Creek, Troutman and Northview Academy. The value is close to $7,000 and will serve up to 625 students.

“It’s kind of like a traveling field trip that comes to us. We don’t have to alter schedules because of lunch or worry about buses. It helps us on the costs,” Lester said. “The convenience is worth it in numerous ways. They bring the mobile unit and can accept 25 students at times.”

Certain I-SS schools were selected because the grant focuses on opportunities for Title I schools or schools that have a free and reduced lunch rate that is 50 percent or higher.

“All of the students that have participated have absolutely loved it. Even the teachers were happy,” Lester said.