Educational programs promoting fun, safe and responsible drone flying for all ages.
Interest in drones, quadcopters, RPAs and UAVs is literally ‘taking off’! They’re inexpensive, packed with amazing features and, once you start flying, are totally addictive. For those looking to fly for fun or aspiring to fly for commercial purposes, safety is paramount.
However, drone-flying’s reputation is already at risk due to military misdeeds, privacy improprieties and dangerous, inexperienced hobbyists. Students of all ages need the right information regarding the do’s and dont’s, best-practice flying skills and a broad understanding of how best to use them safely and responsibly.
And Canberra start-up, Drone Bootcamp is taking the lead in providing that education. With safe and responsible drone-flying its core ethos, Drone Bootcamp runs workshops for all ages – from holiday programs and school incursions to corporate events and community-based workshops – with a focus on Australian aviation history, CASA rules and regulations, and flying activities and drills.
Drone Bootcamp provides hands-on flying for all ages but is born out of the need to provide 21st Century-authentic learning opportunities to senior primary, high school and college students. Drone Bootcamp gives context to learning areas and pedagogy presently stuck in an industrial-revolution school model. John Dewey said “If we teach today as we taught yesterday then we rob our children of tomorrow”. In a world now dominated by glass and pixels, code and gps, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and autonomous vehicles such as self-driving cars and pilotless aircraft, we owe it to them as educators to provide rich, productive learning through projects and activities that provide infinite possibilities for curious minds.
There is a distinct market gap that Drone Bootcamp fills. Not only does it provide a rich, hands-on learning opportunity for school-aged students but it also services the recreational drone-flying market where the only formal courses available at present are commercial CASA-certification courses taking weeks to complete and costing thousands of dollars. Drone Bootcamp programs are short and entertaining workshops where participants graduate with their ‘wings’ for an investment ranging from $69 – $279.
April school holiday programs are our second round of workshops. We have equipment, resources, lesson plans, all activities designed and implemented. We have an growing email contact list, 170 followers on Facebook and Instagram and are in negotiations with Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) for sponsorship.
Drone Bootcamp is keen to secure sponsorship and any available funding to help grow the brand. We believe we have a sound STEM•D education model and a market to service – a key to ongoing success is to get the project into schools where an offshoot, known as The Dragonfly Project, can take root. The Dragonfly Project is a planned inter-schools competition providing teachers and students with a project-based, authentic learning opportunity. Students will explore design-process thinking and develop project management, marketing and communication skills to present work completed as a team. Competing teams will be awarded points in areas ranging from competitive drone flying, teamwork and communication skills, 3d printing, photography, folio development, brand identity, team website and much more with an overall winner identified at the project’s completion.
How awesome would it be to see Canberra as the headquarters of recreational UAV education promoting the fun, safe and responsible use of drones? Now imagine DB and The Dragonfly Project operating, not only locally but, nationally (or even internationally)! Drone Bootcamp is the seed bringing drone education to the ‘everyman’ positioned to grow as the technology evolves. In the not-too-distant future I’d love to see graduates of Canberra’s own Drone Bootcamp flying desperately needed supplies to a village cut-off by flood waters; working as volunteers to teach drone-flying skills to ex-serviceman suffering from PTSD; and programming drones to fly set courses using cameras for search and rescue, surveillance and for positive environmental outcomes… the roles and functions of the technology are endless.
My Skills: Our Chief Drone Nerd is Mark Will – teacher, graphic designer, photographer & RPAS-certified pilot.