All eyes were set on the sky as young minds gave wings to their dreams and skills at La Martiniere College ground in Lucknow on Thursday.
After learning how to make and control unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) during a 20-day summer camp, 30 children in the age group of 6-16 years demonstrated their drone-flying skills on the concluding day of the programme.
“This is the first time in the country where a platform was provided to the children to ignite their young minds to draw them towards aviation and robotics,” said Mohsina Mirza, a teacher at La Martiniere College.
Mirza, in association with city-based innovator Milind Raj, trained students how to fly drones.
“I have a lot of interest in aviation technology. I learnt how to assemble a drone and operate it,” said Aditya Mittal, a student of class 8 at Delhi Public School, RK Puram, New Delhi.
Rishab Mishra, a class 8 student at Welhem Boys’ School, Dehradun, said the camp enhanced his knowledge about drones.
“I will share my experience with my schoolmates when I go back to school after my holidays,” he said.
Students from popular schools including Welham Boys’ School (Dehradun), The Scindia School (Gwalior), Mayo College (Ajmer), The Doon School (Dehradun) and Lucknow’s Seth MR Jaipuria, La Martiniere College and La Martiniere Girls’ College participated in the camp.
“Since my early childhood, I was fond of breaking open remote-controlled stuff and making up something out of its parts,” said Pranav Wadhwa, a student of class 8 at The Scindia School.
The organisers said the prospects of trainees are bright as unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) are used in journalism, films, aerial photography, shipping, disaster management, and search and rescue operations, among others.
“Drones are also used in law enforcement, border patrolling, construction and storm tracking/forecasting. People also take drone-flying as a hobby. We provided practical and technical skills to the country’s youth,” the organisers said.
“My son was always interested in drones, robots and transformers. He learnt a lot at the camp,” said Dia Ahuja, mother of Vyom, a student of The Millennium School.
“The methodology is perfect. First experience the practical part and then learn the basics and enjoy your experience. Every child was given special attention,” said the mother of a participant.
A number of special children also attended the closing ceremony of the camp. Sindhu, Rahul, Sachin and Nitin – children with hearing impairment, trouble with speech and language and mental retardation – were elated looking at drones flying around.
“Their excitement has prompted us to conduct digital education camps and workshops at our centre. We are sure they will come out with flying colours,” said chairman of I Support Foundation Boby Ramani.
“Aerodynamics was taught to children in an interesting manner incorporating practical knowledge. On the concluding day, the children performed exceptionally well and all of them were highly motivated,” said organiser Milind Raj.