Uproxx knows that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines are driving the future of this planet forward. Every day, we see new ideas, fresh innovations, and bold trailblazers in these fields. Follow us this month as we highlight how STEM is shaping the culture of NOW.
“There is a lack of access and a lack of activities in Baltimore,” says Eno Umoh, co-founder of Global Air Media. “We hear stories every day about a lack of funding for after-school programs — people need a fun, engaging STEM activity.”
Umoh’s mission is fill this education void with opportunities for Baltimore’s youth that balance fun with learning opportunities. He’s keenly aware of the import role STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education will hold in the lives of today’s young people, and wants to make sure that kids have opportunities to learn that will leave them inspired.
From that seedling of an idea, Umoh and the Global Air Media team launched Drone Camp — an intensive course for kids to learn how to operate, build, and repair drones. It’s a hands-on in-school workshop, which allows kids to learn vital STEM skills.
“The drone workshops fit in perfectly with STEM,,” Umoh explains. “One of the activities they get to do is soldering — they’ll be able to fix their drones when they crash as opposed to sending it out to some manufacturer. It’s giving them skills that they can use beyond just drones, for electronics and engineering in general.”
Unlike so many educational initiatives, Drone Camp isn’t a hard sell for students. After all, what kid doesn’t want to be a pilot? It’s fun, it’s hands on, and it’s interactive. It’s also competitive: Umoh and Global Air Media have partnered with Open Works, a Baltimore workspace and idea lab, to launch a drone league. It’s an exciting environment — with photo finishes, high stakes, and a spirit of innovation.
“It’s given them skills that they can use beyond just drones,” Umoh says, “for electronics and engineering in general.”
It’s clear that Drone Camp and Drone League are meeting at the sweet spot where education and entertainment overlap. It’s the sort of idea than can engage and inspire kids and, in doing so, change the world.