The Drone Academy is a year-long program designed to teach youth in grades 5-12 to safely fly their own drones. Since new pilots are prone to crashing as they learn, the students will begin the program utilizing 3D printing technology to build small, repairable drones. Through the process of 3D printing, students will learn the mechanics of drone technology and build a drone from scratch. This process will also prepare them for piloting a quality camera drone, while equipped with the knowledge to prevent the errors/crashes of an inexperienced pilot. Students age 16 and older are also supported as they study for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) remote pilot certificate (14 CFR 107) exam. The remote pilot certificate is required for commercial drone use within the United States, so it is a must-have for students seeking a career with drones. 

Program Spotlight: 3D imaging

There are a number of 3D printing databases, such as, that contain files uploaded by the public. Many of these databases contain files that allow the printing of monuments to historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. However, very few of these databases contain images of historically black figures outside of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The 3D files containing images of Booker T Washington, Dr. George Washington Carver, as well as founders of many Historically Black Colleges and Universities are not found with the same ease. Once students become familiar with the 3D printing technology and database, they will travel to HBCU campuses such as Morehouse University and Spelman College in Atlanta, GA and Tuskegee University in Alabama to scan images of famous African American landmarks and sculptures. The students will upload these files to the databases, allowing them to both see images of figures that they identify with, and also diversify the materials available for future students.


Application Requirements:

  1. Northside residence or school enrollment

  2. Letter of recommendation from a current teacher (can be submitted later) 

Describe any experience with robotics, computer coding, or photography in the Highlights section.

To participate in the Northside Drone Academy, students must be able to attend all weekly sessions.

Photos Allowed?
Waiver on File
Upload letter here or submit later
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