The sky's the limit for female student drone pilots

St Margaret's is expanding its STEM focus by empowering students to experiment and lead the way in drone technology, establishing the Drone Academy.

The use of drones is revolutionising a broad range of industries, including real estate, mining, engineering, agriculture, media, film and television, retail and postal delivery services, and is expected to create more Australian jobs, particularly for women, in the future.

Despite this growing sector and the increasing demand for people to both design and operate drones, there are fewer than 50 Australian women who are certified commercial drone pilots.

As part of the school’s focus to prepare students for the future workforce, a Drone Academy has been established providing an introduction to the world of drones and unique opportunities to explore and engage with this emerging field, one that is even more male dominated than usual STEM fields.

St Margaret’s Manager of STEM Enrichment Programs Chris Farrelly said that reports indicate 75% of Australia’s fastest growing occupations required STEM skills.

“The Drone Academy provides a unique opportunity for girls in upper primary through to the secondary year levels to be immersed in the engineering and science behind flying drones as well as highlighting future career pathways through showcasing the wide range of drone uses.

“Tailored programs are offered at different developmental stages, ranging from practical flying skills and text-based coding for Year 6, coding and design through to Year 9, and the opportunity to complete a Drone license course in Year 10.

“The program engages the girls in STEM in a meaningful and fun way.

“Students are not only learning skills specific to drone technology but broader skills such as problem solving and the art of critical and creative thinking which can be applied across any discipline and in any future pathway,” said Mr Farrelly.