BY JESSICA STEELEY
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Clarkston students learned to build and fly mini drones at the Clarkston Drone Camp, Aug. 1-2.
Team RUSH hosted the camp for Clarkston High School students with Steve Smitka, teacher at Waterford Kettering and founder of The Rotor Rookies Drone Academy.
Students were taught how to assemble their drones using transmitters, a drone frame, motors, props, batteries and cameras. They kept their drones after camp, equipped with a charger and knowledge on how to repair them.
Once built, students learned to fly the drones, which are mainly for indoor flight, as they’re small enough for wind to blow them away outside.
“This was a really cool camp; 18 students came in knowing very little about drones and left with flying control. The first day they were taught how to assemble everything,” Team RUSH Coach and Event Sponsor Kyle Hughes said. “Day two was ‘flight school.’ That was so awesome. By the end of the day, you could walk around the room and feel relatively confident that they were not going to hit you. Students were so engaged. It was a really amazing sight to see.”
The students were also interested in the bigger drones brought in. Smitka brought in his racing drone and Hughes’ son, Cody, brought in his DJI Mavic to demonstrate to the students how these technologies allow for many new opportunities. “The interest in this camp has definitely created an interest in a Drone Club at CHS. The students would like to continue their learning on drones. We are even talking to Waterford Kettering about starting a Drone League, so we can race against Steve Smitka’s students,” Hughes said. “It is a really wonderful robotics/technology community that we participate in.”