Tag Archives: drones

Camp seeks to spark youth interest in multibillion-dollar drone industry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The use of drones is a growing multibillion-dollar industry, and Tennessee State University is preparing youth to be part of it.

The university hosted a camp July 22-26 to teach youth about drones, such as how they’re impacting the world, and how to fly them.

Camp participant Christopher Jones enjoying drone flight. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

“We want them to see how drones are becoming the future of aviation,” said Dr. Melissa Riley, a commercial flight instructor and professor in the Aerospace Engineering Technology Department at TSU. “And how they can have a career in that.”

Reports show the commercial drone industry is continuing to grow, and that the market is forecast to be worth $127 billion by 2020.

“And it’s just going to keep expanding,” said Rashad Bailey, coordinator of the drone camp. “This is the ground floor, and I hope these kids will get engaged now.”

Thirteen-year-old Glennwood Walker said he’s considering becoming a physical therapist, but he’s also interested in being a drone pilot, and he enjoyed the camp.

“This program is a fun environment for kids who want to learn about drones, or coding,” Walker said. “Drones is definitely something I’m considering.”

During the camp, participants learned how to program drones, as well as some basic rules of air space. They also got a chance to spend some time in TSU’s flight simulator at John C. Tune Airport.

“We wanted to kind of give them an overall experience,” Riley said.

The camp is one of several initiatives TSU has started to expose youth, and individuals of all ages, to new technology – particularly coding.

The week of the camp, TSU launched the first community “Everyone Can Code and Create” initiative for youth on its downtown Avon William Campus.

Camp participant Cindy Nguyen flies her drone. (Photo by Erynne Davis, TSU Media Relations)

The initiative is part of the newly established National Center for Smart Technology Innovations, created through the “HBCU C2 Presidential Academy” to bring coding and creativity opportunities to students across HBCU campuses, as well as Nashville students. The Academy, which is supported by tech giant Apple, was launched the week before.

Leaders of 14 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) – including Tennessee State – from across the country attended the Academy and came away with knowledge and skills in coding and app development from Apple’s comprehensive coding curriculum.

As part of the initiative, TSU is also working with Metro Nashville Public Schools, Motlow State Community College and the Metropolitan Nashville Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. to expand coding opportunities to other students in the community.

To learn more about HBCU C2, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/hbcuc2/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Summer camp teaches high school students how to fly, build drones

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – High school students recently participated in a summer program at Tennessee State University that taught them how to not only fly a drone, but build one.

Drone pilot and program instructor Wendy Jackson-Dowe, a TSU alum, gives some final direction to student McKenna Harris before flight. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

The initiative is part of a one-week pre-college program at TSU that seeks to encourage high school students to consider STEM careers. Last year, students learned how to design and build an app.

“This year, we decided to do something very innovative,” said College of Engineering Dean Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, who’s been recognized nationally for his contributions as a STEM educator. “And so we have a curriculum whereby students learn to fly a drone, as well as build one.”

About 20 students were enrolled in the summer camp, which ran from July 9-13. A person can become a licensed drone pilot as young as 16.

“It’s estimated there’ll be between 10,000 to 20,000 job opportunities for certified drone pilots over the next several years,” added Hargrove, “and getting kids excited about this at this early age is an opportunity for them to consider.”

Drone built by students. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

The summer drone program was developed by Wendy Jackson-Dowe, a TSU mechanical engineering graduate. She said in just the last five years, drones have become a $127 billion industry.

“Drones are going to be so important to the future,” said Jackson-Dowe. “So I thought it would be great to introduce young people to this burgeoning industry by way of a hands-on camp.”

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the top three verticals right now in a global environment are infrastructure, agriculture and logistics, all of which drones play a part.

Student participants and instructors in drone summer camp. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

“All of those areas touch all of us every day,” said Jackson-Dowe.

McKenna Harris, a freshman at Sycamore High School in Pleasant View, Tennessee, said the camp has her considering a career in the drone industry.

“I was planning to be like a vet or zoologist, but drones are really cool,” said Harris. “They’re changing the world.”

Nashville television station Channel 5 (WTVF) aired a story about the drone program. To see the story, visit https://www.newschannel5.com/news/tsu-class-teaches-students-to-make-fly-drones

To learn more about TSU’s College of Engineering, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/engineering/

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.