When I first started the MQC, one of my goals was to help others get into the hobby by educating them about the building and maintenance of drones and the proper safety procedures that should be followed when flying them. Until today, all of that had been done through the online entities that have been created – via reviewing products on YouTube, helping fellow MQC members over the phone, or assisting them via private messages on Instagram. All that changed today when I had the chance to visit one of the local summer STEM programs in my area and do a demo for the kids.
What is the STEM Program
The United States has become a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers and innovators. Yet today, that position is threatened as comparatively few American students pursue expertise in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)—and by an inadequate pipeline of teachers skilled in those subjects. President Obama has set a priority of increasing the number of students and teachers who are proficient in these vital fields. It facilitates this by gathering some of the brightest students at each school and giving them the chance to broaden their education through hands on learning experiences outside of the classroom. I wish that I had something this cool when I was a kid!
Welcome to FPV
The feeling of arriving at the school and being greeted by a swarm of 30+ kids asking “how fast”, “how far”, and “can’t it drop bombs” was enough to put a smile on anyones face. I walked them through the different parts of both my Hovership ZUUL and my Xhover MXP230 and explained to them some of the safety considerations that go into being a drone pilot. They were amazed at all the different parts that go into something so small, and I could tell by the look on their faces that some of them would be asking their parents for one the second they arrived home.
Then it was go time. I handed over my spare goggles to the group and took off, doing my best to show them some rolls, flips, and some proximity before coming to a landing to a few cheers and a ton of smiles. It was then that I realized that they had the same grin that all of us had the first time we flew FPV – and that made my smile even bigger. A few batteries later, it was time for their next activity; which I think I was just as sad about as they were. What could possibly be cooler than this?! 🙂
The End? No Way!
I had an absolute blast introducing the kids to mini quads and taking them on their first couple FPV flights. They are the future of our hobby, and if we ever want it to become a sport and continue to flourish, we must educate the youth and get them into flying and FPV as early as possible. I made a ton of new friends today (including another fellow pilot who had a ZMR and had already been flying FPV – awesome!) and can’t wait for my next opportunity to spread the good word about our hobby to the next generation of pilots.
As a member of the MQC, we should all try and find ways to educate those around us and get more folks involved in our favorite past time. After all, if we don’t, then who will? #MQC4LIFE