Last month, students from local public schools had the opportunity to take part in an exciting new STEM mini course in collaboration with UNH’s Professional Development & Training department and UNH Upward Bound. During the six-week UNH Upward Bound summer program, students live on the campus of the University of New Hampshire. Their days are packed with challenging academic classes, creative problem-solving initiatives, teambuilding, communication skills, trips, sports and all kinds of fun!
The STEM/Drone mini-course was one of 10 mini-courses students could choose from, which are a once-a-week course offering meant to increase the intellectual, social, and cultural development of participants and expose them to programs, careers, and activities they may not otherwise have access to. For many Upward Bound students, the STEM mini course was a first-time venture into the field. In addition to drones they explored 3D printing, 3D pens, STEM challenges, robotics, and coding.
Students had a blast learning about drones thanks to our wonderful K-12 drone instructor, Mark Wiley, who led the charge in teaching the new drone course. One student remarked on the final day of the program, “The experience was incredible. I’ve never had the opportunity to fly a drone or really explore any type of STEM fields in any of my classes. I want to explore more!”
PD&T was thrilled by the opportunity to support Upward Bound’s mission to help low-income, potential first-generation high school students achieve their dreams of going on to and being successful in higher education. Joshua Gagnon, Director of UNH Upward Bound, said, “One of the ways we do this is through exposure to a variety of career paths. We thought a collaboration with the PD&T team on a drone mini course would be fascinating, interesting, hands-on, and provide our students with the possibilities of a future career.”