A partnership between the Nashua Career and Technical Education and SI Drones, a Merrimack-based company, will give students the opportunity to learn how to fly, and eventually build, drones as a part of the new “Girls in STEAM” program. If successful, the program will turn into a first-in-the-state drone photography course at the school.
From Aviation Pros:
As part of an incentive grant from the NH Department of Education for just under $10,000 the Nashua Career Technical Education department will develop a pilot program called Girls in STEAM, which focuses on getting young women into the fields of science, technology, engineering, art and math, using drones.
The pilot program will run quarterly, and students (all are welcome) will learn to fly drones from SI Drones in Merrimack.
If successful, the pilot will turn into a drone photography course, where students would also build and fly the drones. It would be the first known drone course — not club or seminar — in the state. Former Board of Education member David Murotake strongly advocated for such a program during his time on the board, and “planted the seed” for the pilot program, according to Amanda Bastoni, CTE director.
“We want to offer all Nashua students an innovative and exciting opportunity while bringing in those non traditional students,” Bastoni said.
Erin Knoetig, who teaches a photography course, will teach Girls in STEAM, focusing of course on flying drones, but also on computational thinking and women in technology, Bastoni said…
Bastoni and Knoetig are currently working with the middle schools to help identify girls who may be interested in the STEAM fields and might enroll.
“We want to break the stereotypes,” Knoetig said…
There is a lot to learn before getting the drone program off the ground, what with airport restrictions, weather conditions, how high they can fly, interacting with other aircrafts and more. That is why Spitz, along with his son, co-owner John Spitz, is working with Bastoni and Knoetig to provide the drones and ultimately drone kits, and to lend a helping hand.
“The potential for this is exponential,” Bastoni said.