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A Crop Copter drone is demonstrated during the Precision Aerial Ag Show in July 2014 in Decatur. An introduction to owning and using drones will be among the continuing education classes that may be sampled at Saturday's Slice of Lifelong Learning open house at Heartland Community College, Normal.

JIM BOWLING, Pantagraph News Service file photo

NORMAL — The sky's the limit on the variety of continuing education classes that can be sampled at Saturday's Slice of Lifelong Learning open house at Heartland Community College.

That's not just a figure of speech. Stacey Shrewsbury, lead flight director at the Challenger Learning Center at Heartland, will be teaching a course called Drones 101.

The 9 a.m. class is among nearly three dozen 45-minute mini-courses that participants can sample at the open house for community interaction and education. The event is from 9 a.m. to noon at the Workforce Development Center on the main campus on Raab Road in Normal.

“Everybody likes a chance to sample something before they buy it,” said Amy Humphreys, dean of continuing education. “This is an opportunity to get a preview of what the class is like and meet the instructor.”

Mini-course areas include technology, arts, cooking, wellness and personal enrichment.

Participants can learn about sewing basics, dog care, social media, therapy dog training, digital photography and bird watching. There's even an offering called Fighting Fat after 40.

Those who sign up during the open house for one or more full-length courses can receive a 25 percent discount in most cases.

Humphreys said the open house with free mini-courses is always popular and well attended. No advance registration is needed.

New this year, seven community organizations will be participating in the open house: the McLean Count Museum of History, the League of Women Voters of McLean County, the Illinois Heart and Lung Foundation, Ecology Action Center, Pet Central Helps and Professional Women of McLean County.

The League of Women Voters will be part of a panel discussion, “Why Isn't Voting as Popular as 'Hamilton'?” People will be able to register to vote at the event.

The Drones 101 mini-class will cover different types of drones, what to consider before buying and different requirements for recreational and nonrecreational use of drones, said Shrewsbury.

The full course in April will be done in two sessions and provide information to help people prepare for the knowledge test required to be licensed for nonrecreational use of a drone — such as photography for real estate sales, she said.

Activities for children also will be available.

Humphreys said the continuing education programs are aimed at personal enrichment and keeping people mentally engaged and physically active.

“They're also a great way to meet people with similar interests,” she said.

For a complete list of courses at the open house, go to http://www.heartland.edu/continuingEd/sliceOFlife.html

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Follow Lenore Sobota on Twitter @Pg_Sobota

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