Cadets from the Student Leadership Academy School Cadet Squadron recently practiced their aerial skills with unmanned aircraft as part of Civil Air Patrol's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program.
The aerospace education training is made possible through collaborative efforts between CAP and Air Force STEM outreach efforts. The quadcopter kit is one of 15 STEM kits offered. The kits come at no cost to approved recipients and are designed to enhance current CAP educational curriculum and programs.
“The STEM kits that Civil Air Patrol provides for the cadets are invaluable to our aerospace education program,” said Deputy Commander, 2d Lt. Andre Bouchane. “It really captures the cadet’s interest and encourages participation."
To prepare to take control of an unmanned aerial vehicle, the Academy's cadets completed a ground-school study on flight principles, mechanics of flight controls and the ethics of flying drones.
On ‘fly day’, two teams of cadets -- each with their own UAV -- were tasked with successfully completing four basic maneuvers; a smooth and level takeoff, flight not to exceed 10 feet in the air, a successful hover and landing on a designated landing spot.
Bouchane explained that the CAP Aerospace Education Excellence (AEX) program offers engaging and interesting hands-on aviation and space-related STEM activities. The quadcopter activity is one of six AEX activities scheduled by the squadron for this year’s aerospace education training. Future activities include: model rocketry, weather systems, flight simulator training, and actual flight training in a CAP Cessna aircraft.
“The cadets readily adapted to the learning and some performed all four flight maneuvers with fighter pilot-like precision,” said Bouchane.
“I am thankful to the Civil Air Patrol,” said cadet Ian Riccardi. “My CAP aerospace education instructors give me the opportunity to do things I don’t normally get the opportunity to do.”
Academy cadets are pictured with 2d Lt Andre Bouchane while they explore UAVs. (Photo credit: Capt M. Kirsten-Bouchane)
Academy cadets Riccardi, Allis, and Domingo-Heart watch fellow cadets fly drone. (Photo credit: Capt M. Kirsten-Bouchane)