It’s a smart kid’s dream come true. Play with drones, learn cool things, hear a famous astronaut (Col. Tim Kopra) speak, and meet other families like yours. Industry leading drone services company Trumbull Unmanned and their partners are creating a fantastic opportunity for military children – starting with this weekend’s Family Day.
Service First is a unique organization. Co-created and developed by Trumbull and the Kino-Eye Center and sponsored by BP, Microsoft and a variety of Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs), Service First is focused on providing STEM learning opportunities for military families. Service First is developing an iterative, multi-year program that combines online coursework, extra-curricular activities, project-based learning, and coaching and mentoring opportunities.
Trumbull’s founder and CEO, Dyan Gibbens, knows all about being a military family. A graduate of the Air Force Academy and an Air Force veteran, she’s justifiably proud of her own service – and started Service First as a way to continue to give back. “Military kids move around a lot,” says Gibbens. “It can be challenging for them to get as involved in school. I really wanted to find a way to focus on meeting the needs of military families.”
Combining drones and STEM education, say the Service First team, is an obvious choice. “As a vehicle for STEM learning, drones might be described as the “chemistry set” of the modern era – allowing students and DIY practitioners an unparalleled opportunity to experiment with ‘maker’ technologies, including 3D printing, coding and hardware design,” says co-developer Cesare Wright. “Unmanned technologies provide a gateway to a diverse array of engineering disciplines and STEM content areas.”
With this new organization, the founders hope to expand upon good STEM education to include leadership and teamwork skills, with a curriculum developed and delivered by military officers, faculty from prestigious universities, and experienced industry professionals. It’s an idea that provides a real impact in the lives of military children, and a real opportunity to develop of the next generation of leaders.
The Service First program builds on Trumbull’s successful support and development of drone camps held at Rice University.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.