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The Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaffee County – Drone Program

Guest Author
Guest Author
05 Dec 2022
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Organising a Drone Club

The drone club at the Boys and Girls Club was a great success. It ran once a week for 6 weeks. There were 3 teams of 3 kids each. The ages were from 8-10 years, except for one of them who functioned as a junior staff member was 13. He was a big help and was learning, too. The kids and the parents had to commit to the program, and that they would complete the full 6 weeks, and that the parents would see that they attended, and not pick them up early, etc. 

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Resources, safety, applications and troubleshooting

We used a lot of the She Maps information on forming a drone club, but did adapt it so that we could do it in 6 weeks. The emphasis on safety was key, and we used the Epicollect app for the preflight safety check. They wore safety glasses, tied their hair back (if necessary), followed the safety rules. 

We flew the Tellos on the Tello app, using the screen, and also flew them with a GameSir bluetooth controller. We had an obstacle course, and some bases (landing pads) for them to compete in a “baseball” game. They really liked all of it but seemed to prefer the obstacle course.

We also introduced them to block coding with the Droneblocks app. At one point, we had serious connection problems due to interference, etc. We were only flying 3 drones at the same time. (I don’t know how 10 Tellos could be flown in a classroom.) 

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After doing some research, we reset all of the Tellos, set the tablets so they could not revert to the internet, and assigned each tablet and controller to a specific drone. We currently have 6 drones but are only really using 3.

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She Maps membership helps you to solve those connection issues

Both the branch manager of the local Boys and Girls Club and I have drones and are 107 licensed. We had 2 volunteers without drone experience who were a big help on dealing with the kids, as well as helping them negotiate the tablets, the coding etc.

If they attended every meeting and completed the course, which they all did, they got a BGC Drone Club pin, 3D printed at the BGC (They really wanted the pin.) At the 5th meeting, we encouraged them to take the TRUST test. The branch manager set them up on the BGC computer, and they all took the test. 

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Demonstrating their flying and learning

At the final meeting, the parents were invited to see what the kids were doing. Each kid got to fly individually to show what they could do. Seven of them chose to do the obstacle course, and 2 chose to do some coding.

They all got their drone club pins, their official TRUST certificates, a plaque with their name on it with the title BGC drone pilot (also 3D printed at the BGC),  and a certificate signed by both me and the branch manager.  

We had expected about 14 parents to watch the kids do their stuff, but there were many more (probably a total of 30-40 people). There were some grandparents, as well as a number of donors. Everyone really liked it and were very impressed, and the kids were very enthusiastic.

We’ve been asked to do the course next semester. If there is enough additional interest, we will do it again. We would also like to do a class with more of the coding. This would be for the kids that completed this first course.

Written by

Rebecca Berry,
Educator at The Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaffee County

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Introducing Kiki Lathrop

Salida Branch Director

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaffee County

Kiki is part of the She Maps Career Poster series. Click the image below to download the poster for your classroom.

About She Maps.

She Maps is Australia’s leading expert in drone and geospatial education. 

She Maps assist schools with the purchasing of drones, school-industry created drone and geospatial teaching resources and highly supportive teacher professional development.

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    Flying High with Drones at Your School!

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    What’s covered:
    • The educational benefits for running a drone & geospatial program
    • How to gather whole school support for the program
    • How to fund your drone program
    • Matching your school requirements to the best program
    • How to build teacher confidence and capabilities
    • Steps to expand your program with school-industry partnerships