The Elementary Institute of Science Launching a New Program Called Girls Take Flight!

The Elementary Institute of Science is launching a new program called Girls Take Flight that will teach high school girls about drones, their various uses, and associated career opportunities. They are offering an information session about the program at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, February 27 and would like to extend an invitation to 10th and 11th grade girls at Our Lady of Peace to join them.

Below is an overview of the program:

Kick-off Event

Girls Take Flight follows the tech boot camp model of progression. It begins with recruitment and outreach to community high schools. The goal is to attract 100 female high school juniors to attend the Girls Take Flight kick-off assembly at EIS to learn about the use of drones and drone piloting careers. The event will feature a female drone instructor and will touch on the various uses of drones. Interested students will be invited to apply to the Girls Take Flight Drone Spring Camp.  From the applicants, EIS will select 20 participants.

Drone Camp

Girls Take Flight Camp will be held in late March 2018 during spring break. The camp will be five days and operate from 9:00 to 4:00 for five days. Featured hands-on learning activities will include flight practice on a simulator and the use of mini-drones to fly indoor “missions” with specific objectives. In addition to learning the regulations and fundamentals of operating a drone, the program will emphasize responsible drone use and environmental stewardship. Participants will also explore the myriad commercial and scientific uses for drones and UAS career options.  The experience will instill girls with the confidence that they can become a drone pilot, pursue a career in drones, or even their own business. After completing Girls Take Flight Drone Camp, ten students will be selected to enter a 32-week internship program.

Internship Program

The Girls Take Flight internship program will take place on Fridays after school and weekends for 32 weeks. Each intern will receive a $1,500 stipend for completing the program. The internship starts with preparations for each student to acquire a Remote Pilot Airman Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. The program will teach:

  • Applicable Regulations,
  • Airspace Classification, Operating Requirements, and Flight Restrictions
  • Aviation Weather Sources
  • Effects of Weather on Small Unmanned Aircraft Performance
  • Small Unmanned Aircraft Loading
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Crew Resource Management
  • Radio Communication Procedures
  • Determining the Performance of Small Unmanned Aircraft
  • Physiological Factors (Including Drugs and Alcohol) Affecting Pilot Performance
  • Aeronautical Decision-Making and Judgment
  • Airport Operations
  • Maintenance and Preflight Inspection Procedures

Students will further develop their skills by flying full-size drones. New technology skills will be developed by building a mini-drone and learning how to program software to create a pre-defined flight path (autonomous flight). Another component of the internship will be first-hand exposure to a variety of drone-related business, including Qualcomm’s Drone Lab, Action Drone’s test flight facility in Chula Vista, and Skylift Drone’s R&D facility in San Marcos. If possible, we would like to include a site visit to Northrop Grumman’s site in San Diego. Each girl will develop a drone-based field research project. Possible projects include conducting shoreline habitat assessments and monitoring watersheds. After completing training, Girls Take Flight interns will develop presentations on their research project that will be made to middle school girls from low-income neighborhoods.