University of Vermont

Drones Spark the Next Generation of Innovators

When 14-year-old Carbur Rousseau heard the words “drone” and “camp” together, his curiosity was piqued. Interest grew once his parents explained that, “we’d be flying drones, learning how to make maps, and how to use the drones to do more than just leisurely fly around.”

Twenty-nine teens have participated in the three-day summer “Drone Camp,” offered in both 2017 and 2018.* The camp is a partnership between UVM Extension 4-H and UVM Rubenstein School for Natural Resources Spatial Analysis Lab. Campers learned how to fly different kinds of drones and how to use the data procured while flying to make maps and other images. They also learned about careers that use this type of technology.

Sarah Kleinman, UVM Extension 4-H program director, sees programs like these as opportunities for youth to find something they’re passionate about or interested in. “When youth find that ‘spark,’ it can send them on a positive trajectory for life,” she says.

The camp is designed to promote creative thinking, innovation and our next generation of problem solvers. By flying a drone, learning how to download data from it, and discovering new ways to put that data to use, campers are laying a foundation for their future careers.

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*Grant funded by U.S. Air Force Child and Youth Programs through Kansas State University under special project number 2013-48696-21184 **STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics . Infographic Data from the Office of the Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Commerce in their “STEM Jobs: 2017 Update”