Achievement House Blog

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Drone Innovators Program Debuts at Kids Tech Event

Alane Butler

Drones flew inside and outside at Kids Tech Exploration Day, Saturday, October 13, 2018. The event, hosted by Turn5 in Malvern, PA, was a free, hands-on day of learning focused on emerging technologies. Achievement House Cyber Charter School’s (AHCCS) Drone Innovators program was one of the featured activities.

Drone Innovators, a new addition to AHCCS’s Innovation Academy curriculum, seeks to introduce students to the many facets of the emerging drone industry by immersing them into real life problems that can be solved using drone technology. The goal is to provide career opportunities for students in this developing new field.

“Drones are becoming integral to so many businesses,” explained Veronica Farr, Drone Innovators Program Director. “Today’s students can look forward to careers using drones in Agriculture, Law Enforcement, Engineering, Photojournalism, and applications we can only imagine!”

Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, course topics will include Overview of the Industry, FAA Safety Regulations, Map Reading, Weather and Aviation, Flight Maneuvers, and Programming Flight Routes. Motivated students can earn their Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 license and start their own drone business.

Students aged 7-13 were given a challenge at Tech Exploration Day: program a drone to fly life-saving medication to a remote village on the other side of a high mountain. Using DroneBlocks, a drag and drop programming tool, and with the help of AHCCS teachers and staff, students directed the drones to take off, fly over the “mountain” obstacle, and land with their precious cargo in the “village” to deliver the medicine. They learned how to compensate for atmospheric interference and other barriers to achieve accurate drone flight.

The excitement continued outside with exhibitions of racing and acrobatic drones as well as a demonstration of how drones can be used to deliver goods—in this case, fortune cookies that were dropped for the students to collect. After successfully completing their drone flights, students were awarded a pin designating them as a “Drone Pilot.” Mission accomplished—everyone had a great time!