Students Soar with drones at Summer Camp

July, 2018

This summer, Youth Code Jam held a drone camp for middle and high school NEISD students. The 17 lucky students that attended this camp received hands on experience with CoDrone, the world’s first fully student programmable drone. In fact, we are one of the first in the country to host a camp using the CoDrone technology.

During the two weeks of camp, the students built, coded, and flew their own drones. Not only is this technology new, but it is also simple and student friendly. Even students with no coding experience were able to follow along while experienced coders were faced with new engineering and programming challenges. The camp was made possible through generous donations from Rackspace, Conceptual Mindworks and Accenture. In fact, 60% of the students attending the camp received full or partial scholarships. We never want cost to get in the way of a kid who wants to learn to code.

The skills they learned didn’t stop at drones, however. This advanced group of middle and high school coders learned some basic principles of physics and aerodynamics significantly earlier than most NEISD students, who are typically introduced to physics in the 11th grade. Through hours of free reign to tinker with high-level technology, students were given the opportunity to learn from the best teacher…themselves. These teens absorbed and executed above and beyond what was asked of them, often times getting ahead of the teacher and creating their own new and improved code for their drones. Not only did they learn independently, but they collaborated and helped other peers in need of assistance.

The drones fly for just 7 to 8 minutes, but that fleeting air time provides opportunities to quickly test code and make changes. It was just enough to spark an interest and build confidence for them to continue to delve into all types of technology. We are confident these students will continue to learn and improve upon the skills they developed at this camp…potentially leading to a career in the ever-growing field of technology.

Debi Pfitzenmaier