Flying Drones with Girlstart

Flying Drones with Girlstart

Have you ever flown a drone? I haven’t. I’ve heard about them. I’ve seen them. But, I’ve never held the controls. So when Girlstart invited me out to check out what they’ve got planned for their next summer camp, I couldn’t say no.

Girlstart is a nonprofit who was supported by Modernize at Startup Games: Austin 2016. They focus on encouraging girls in learning about and participating in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) areas. They have year-round education programs, including a series of summer camps that focus on various areas of study.

A small crowd gathered on a Thursday morning at Girlstart HQ (including a contingent from Modernize) where their team introduced us to their squadron of drones and plans for the camp. Their plan: teach the girls about manufacturing and aerospace engineering. How? Harry Potter. Or more accurately Hermione. She’s solving the crisis Hogwarts just encountered with their owls all getting sick, and mail now needing new transportation.

The girls will learn about the drone’s specs, design a carrier, and then guide the drone safely to its destination. In teams of four, they’ll have to work together to save Hogwarts.

The group received an opportunity to test these Hogwarts-saving drones out. We learned to take off, fly, and most importantly land. I can now say that I’ve flown a drone. And, not to brag, but I’m pretty good. These drones work on a two joystick system that made my time spent playing video games totally validated.

Girlstart has a fascinating approach to engaging girls with real-world applications of STEM while integrating interesting stories. Hermione’s Mayhem of Mazes will be the fifth and final camp of the summer, each previous one surrounding a different focus and unique story. Be sure to check out what else they’re up throughout the year. I can’t wait to see what else they have planned.

Photo courtesy of Girlstart