02 Jun RDA Hunter She Flies NSW Drone Camps
Drone jobs of tomorrow
Female students from three Port Stephens schools learned all about drone technology last week as part of program aimed at enticing more women into the emerging field.
Across two days, April 3 and 4, the Tomaree High School, St Philip’s Christian College and Medowie Christian School students took part in the She Flies program learning about drones, their current uses and where the field is heading.
Dr Karen Joyce, founder and chief educator of She Flies, said the program was designed to show female participants that they have a future in the industry.
“In Australia we estimate that 1 per cent of drone pilots are female,” Dr Joyce said.
“We want to get girls interested, show them what they can do with drones. We aim to engage girls across a spectrum of interests.
“They might not like flying, but they might enjoy the entertainment aspects or agricultural aspects.”
As part of the two day camp the participants code, build and fly drones.
Some of the activities the girls undertake is deliver supplies to a miniature model of the International Space Station, code drones to a dance routine and, over a large map, drop weedkiller on a marked spot.
“Everything in She flies is a real life application of drones,” Dr Joyce said. “It’s already happening.”
Regional Development Australia – Hunter sponsored She Flies to deliver its program in Port Stephens and Newcastle last week.
Rick Evans, RDA Hunter’s STEM workforce manager, said its aims were to encourage students into STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), make the subjects fun and promote interactions between school and the industry.
She Flies covered all those goals, and helped to break down gender stereotypes, which is why RDA sponsored to program to come to the area, Mr Evans said.
“We work with industry, especially around Williamtown, to build a workforce for the future,” Mr Evans said.
“The opportunity for kids to take up jobs locally is amazing. We don’t want women to be left out of that.
“Bringing the skills and experience of the She Flies instructors here helps to break down the stereotypes and encourage girls into STEM subjects.”
Tomaree High School student Alyssa Pedersen, 13, said the camp was an “amazing experience”.
“I love how it’s getting it’s getting girls into this type of stuff,” she said.
“It’s giving us opportunities that you don’t really think are for girls.”
Article By Ellie Marie-Watts The Port Stephens Examiner
During the camp the girls are taught the importance of digital story telling. The 2 videos are created by the girls about the camps run in Port Stephens and Newcastle