Learning to Fly: Engaging Girls in STEM Education
SheDrones will engage girls in Sci, Tech, Eng & Math (STEM) education through drones & related technologies.
I am a mother of two from Louisville, KY, who has worked in the energy industry for 15+ years. During that time, I began to observe the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in monitoring energy infrastructure, and I became intrigued. The more I learned about the potential job applications – from disaster response to precision agriculture and beyond, the more I wanted to become involved in this industry. As the mother of two daughters, and in observance of the fact that there is a startling lack of women in the UAV industry, and in tech fields in general, I decided the best way I could assist would be to found SheDrones – a non-profit to engage, train, educate, support and endorse girls & women in the UAS/drone industry. This is now my passion. I am still holding down a full-time job, while I pursue this in my “spare time” (is there such a thing?), but with your help, I can grow this into a vibrant organization which encourages girls across the country to jump into STEM careers (science, technology, engineering & math).
Working with public and private entities, through existing programs and new collaborations, we will engage and train girls and youth in unmanned aerial systems and related applied sciences – to engage them in ‘up and coming’ technologies with great career potential.
Why It Matters
*Unmanned Aerial Systems will comprise an $80B industry over the next ten years; potentially creating 100,000 new jobs just in *North America.
*The number of females active in the unmanned aerial systems industry pales in comparison to the number of males.
Technology is one of the fastest growing sectors of the job market. Coding and technology know-how is becoming a necessary component to a well-rounded career. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) – hardware, software and applications – are an important emerging piece of the tech pie that also includes data analytics, GIS, 3D printing, robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT), among others. It is anticipated UAS will be in use by 40% of all companies for data gathering, in one form or another, in the next ten years. The global market for nonmilitary drones has ballooned into a $2.5 Billion industry; one that is growing 15% to 20% annually under current law. That does not account for the potential in the United States when the FAA institutes final regulations governing the operation of commercial drones.
According to thinkprogress.org, men outnumber women 7 to 3 in the tech industry. Women currently fill approximately 26% of tech jobs. As a national nonprofit, SheDrones will address the country’s need for more female innovators, employees, leaders and entrepreneurs in the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry. We will engage young girls through existing and new programs which incorporate UAS-related hardware, software, applications and related technologies. SheDrones will coordinate, promote, develop, and encourage drone-related STEM programs for public & private youth programs and educational institutions across the Unites States. Through hands-on learning, SheDrones partners will engage females on multiple levels; exposing them to areas of study that they may not otherwise pursue, and provide them with a foundation and proven path to post-secondary training and career success in UAS-relates fields.
This engagement will be pursued via a field-wide strategic plan. We will build a national community of experts in the field to provide training and advice to our youth. We will establish a network of female UAV pilot mentors with which we can connect the girls in our program for collaboration, advice, guidance and brainstorming. We will conduct one-time and ongoing trainings with public and private groups of girls and youth.
Leslie Bates, Program Founder, Drone Enthusiast
Anne Lopez, Eastside Middle, Mt. Washington, KY, STEM Teacher
Susan Carlisle, Eastside Middle, Curriculum Review
Donnie Yeoman, Indiana Drones, Trainer & Multimedia Advisor
Jason Mainella, TeenyDrones, Tech Advisor & Program Supporter
HYSight Technologies, Trainers and Program Supporter
Kevin McCarthy, Skylab Flight Systems, Tech Advisor & Program Supporter
How You Can Help
* If you are a female UAV/drone operator and would like to become a mentor, please email [email protected]
* If you have expertise in this or related fields, and would like to assist with trainings, please reach out to us.
* If you are an educator or youth group leader and would like to learn more about our offerings or work with us to expand SheDrones into your area, please email us.
* With your donations, we can develop SheDrones into a full-fledged nonprofit with the potential to reach girls and youth nationally through new drone+STEM programming, plus initiate collaborations with and surmise best practices from existing programs.
* Each $40 donation could fund a small training drone ($400 for drones for a class/group).
* $50 could purchase a soldering station or construction tools
* $100 could fund CAD software for digital drone and drone part design
* A $200 donation could fund one drone construction kit ($1000 for kits for one class/group).
* $400 could fund a 3D printer, so we could teach the trainees to print their own construction parts
* $1000 could go towards the purchase of a more sophisticated training quadcopter+
* $2000 could purchase an Apple iMAC desktop for multimedia and CAD processing
Our Website: www.SheDrones.com
Our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/shedrones
On Twitter: @SheDrones
Tipping Point Goal: $2,500
Total Funding Goal: $10,000
Tipping Point goal
When we reach our tipping point goal, SheDrones will be able to:
* Enlist the necessary legal and financial advice, register with all necessary government agencies and become a full-fledge nonprofit 501(c)(3).
* Continue website development, marketing, outreach, networking and sponsor solicitation
* Purchase minor training equipment & related technologies
When SheDrones reaches its ultimate goal, it will be able to:
* Procure more sophisticated training equipment, technology and resources
* Research and database drone-specific STEM education programs across the United States offered by educational institutions, universities, pre-development and startup businesses, and/or established corporations and organizations.
* Establish a constituency of partnerships with these programs.
* Convene a national forum of interested parties to encourage coordination and collaboration across organizations and educational institutions.
* Pursue funding and resources through grants and sponsorships.
* Use these resources in a strategic and effective manner to enhance efficiencies and eliminate redundancies & gaps in drone-related STEM program coverage.
Provide support, technical assistance, best-practice recommendations, training, grants and awards to students, teachers, and educational venues.
* Develop new and promote existing curricula, instructional and related materials.
* Sponsor a national forum and diverse activities, including competitions, camps, and conferences.
* Assist aspiring young women seeking to pursue jobs in UAS industry through competitions, prizes, training, technical assistance, exhibitions, relationship development, peer networks, advocacy, and on-line resources.