Grant Provides Big Learning on a Small Scale

Students at DeSoto County Career and Technology Center East (DCCTCE) are learning about transportation logistics on a smaller scale thanks to a $500 grant.

District officials purchased small-scale, radio-controlled forklifts for hands-on instruction after DCCTCE was awarded the DeSoto County Foundation for Excellence in Education grant during the 2017-2018 school year. With limited classroom space, students and faculty decided the radio-controlled forklifts would be the best option to both save space and increase the number of hands-on, interactive opportunities for the class.

This new technology provides a visual representation of how distribution centers work. Using a radio-controlled, scaled-down forklift allows students to experience the movements and processes of its full-size counterpart. For example, the simulation challenges students to think critically about key factors involved with moving a pallet, such as alignment, safety, speed, balance, and sensitivity. Not only are students learning to operate a forklift, they are also engaging in the entire process of flowing materials through a distribution center. Students designed their own distribution flow, and they practiced using the forklift controls as they moved throughout the facility.

Perhaps the most beneficial part of using radio-controlled forklifts is the real-life application of skills learned in the classroom. When considering how and why the logistical process works, students have an enhanced look at the flow of a distribution center and equipment operation, rather than only focusing on simply moving a product from one place to another.

Mike Doss, DCCTCE transportation logistics teacher, is exploring the possibility of incorporating even more technology in the classroom.

“We anticipate furthering our endeavors into technology ventures through the use of drones this year,” Doss said. “With the discussion of drones in the media and throughout the world in the use of logistics operations, whether as delivery methods or inspection resources, it is certain that the skills required to utilize, support, and manage drone technology is a viable educational opportunity.”


Connections is the magazine for K-12 career and technical education (CTE) in Mississippi. The biannual publication features students, educators, schools, and organizations from approximately 50 career pathways across 16 career clusters. This Mississippi Department of Education publication is produced by the Research and Curriculum Unit at Mississippi State University. Issues are disseminated in print and electronic forms in May and December each year.

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