Middle school students partake in CMU's first drone camp

For the first time, Central Michigan University hosted a drone camp for mid-Michigan middle school students this week. 

The camp began Monday and ended on Friday.

The Center for Excellence and STEM Education received a grant last January from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation to offer middle school students and teachers programs at CMU. The drone camp was one of the programs created. 

Associate professor in CMU's Engineering and Technology Department Dru Wilson taught the camp with help from student-volunteers. Wilson said he enjoyed seeing kids learn about drone technology and hopes the program will continue next year.

"These kids had a lot of fun. To watch their faces light up with excitement was great," Wilson said. "We watched them learn a couple new tools, learn how to have more confidence and learn more about team work. I hope they take that experience with them to college."

The five-day program began with teaching the campers what a drone is and its basic uses. Throughout the week, the campers began building their own drones, working with wiring, assembling pieces together and understanding what each part does. The campers also had the chance to fly their drones in open fields around Mount Pleasant. 

Detailed Aerial Solutions, located in Shepherd, provided drone kits for the campers to assemble. Employees from the company were on site to assist the campers assemble their drones.

Campers paid $10 to register for the five-day camp and were given a CMU t-shirt, a water bottle and a small drone.