Rice Drone Camp lets kids’ imaginations soar

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HOUSTON - Back when most of us were in school,  the only drones came from the hum of lawnmowers. This week at Rice University, though, 21 grade school kids from across the city are taking drones to a whole other level.

Tamara Wattenbarger, an eighth grader at T.H. Rogers, says, "My group has come up with a lot of different ideas for how to use drones to firefight, especially if they're equipped with ultraviolet or infrared cameras."

BP sponsored this free drone camp where students learn not only drone design and engineering but also the societal and ethical implications behind the technology.

Ben Kramer, a Rice Engineering Grad student, says, "I've been really surprised. I was expecting some people that felt like their parents were passing them off for a summer camp but.... they're just as passionate as everyone else is and they just wanna learn."

Dyan Gibbens of Trumble Unmanned adds, "We think drones can help save time. They can help save money. They can help save lives."

Clara Gillis, a seventh grader at T.H. Rodgers, says optimistically, "Everyone's going to have one, like everyone has a TV."

Han Nguyen-Hoang, another T.H. Rodgers student, says, "They'll almost be like the new delivery system of the future and help save a lot of lives on the battlefield, too."

Wattenbarger adds, "They're gonna be in the future no matter what...You shouldn't be scared of drones but you should take precautions with them... and use them for the good that they can be used for."

Rice Drone Camp -- opening up kids' imaginations to the future and encouraging them to soar.