The sky is the limit for young women participating in Fly Girls RPV!
The Cobb STEM and Innovation Department launched the Fly Girls program two years ago. Fly Girls was developed to introduce young women in grades four through eight to aerospace using drones. Through generous funding from Lockheed Martin, participants received training and a free Parrot Mambo mini drone.
We are using this year as an opportunity to reimagine this program for a remote learning environment. That is how Fly Girls RPV (Remote Person View) was launched. In September 2020, we reached out to past Fly Girl participants to continue their drone pilot education. We had 34 sign up. Each Fly Girl received a package in the mail with a t-shirt, flight journal, and camera attachment for their drone! These young women joined a Zoom call on a Saturday morning to learn about their first two new missions. Mission One was a video competition. They used their new cameras to capture, edit, and create a 30-second video. Mission Two was an obstacle challenge. They had to build their own keyhole gates and other obstacles to test their piloting skills.
We partnered with CEFGA, Construction Education Foundation of Georgia, and Kennesaw State University, to locate female drone pilots to speak to students. Women are an underrepresented population in STEM. We wanted our Fly Girls to learn about careers where drones are used and highlight women who do these jobs. On our first meeting, the Fly Girls also got an opportunity to hear from the CEO of Aerial Innovations, Wendy Whittemore. She is a female drone pilot who owns a company with offices in Nashville and Atlanta. They use drones to capture aerial videos and images for projects such as the construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Our next two missions launch in early December. This time we are partnering with a female drone pilot who uses her drones in the world of insurance. The Fly Girls will learn about what she does and try it out! Future missions will spotlight an ecologist using drones as emerging technology to study wetlands and a physician who has turned her passion for drone photography and traveling into a business.
In the future, once we have refined the Fly Girls RPV program, we hope to invite a whole new crop of future female drone pilots to take to the skies!
Learn more about Fly Girls RPV online at: http://www.stemcobb.com/flygirls20-986919.html.
Dr. Sally Creel, Supervisor
STEM and Innovative Practice