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East Spencer students explore drones

Camp

Deuce Walker looks through a virtual reality headset at a recent STEM and drone camp in East Spencer. Submitted photo

EAST SPENCER — Fifteen young men from East Spencer and Salisbury completed a week at FlyMore Academy Piloting Drone Camp at Southern City AME Zion Tabernacle Church as the inaugural science, technology, engineering and math program offered through Essie Mae Kiser Foxx Charter School.

The middle and high school students, guided by FlyMore’s Miller Morrow and his instructors, learned the basics of drone operation and the science behind the new phenomenon. Using piloting lessons and games, the students worked on computers and flew tiny drones inside tight courses as well as larger drones outside.

The special goggles used showed them the world from the point of view of the drone as they zipped around obstacles in search of their goal pad. Five days of instruction and practice ended in a final race morning at which scores eagerly watched on a big screen.

“We had a great time working with the kids from East Spencer and teaching them how to fly drones,” Morrow said. “They were impressively motivated and very quick to pick up on the piloting skills. We look forward to coming back in the future.”

Asked what he took away from his experience, Kamahri Feamster, 11, said, “I like the drone camp because we are learning how to develop STEM activities as potential jobs.”

Flymore gave the students an overview of why one might consider drone flying as a viable job, giving Amazon’s development of package delivery as just one possibility out of many good-paying jobs.

The next step will be an engineering camp where students will learn how to build their own drones. Engineering and technical skill building is on the horizon.

“This camp has shown me what my options should look like when I graduate from high school,” said Daemond Wallace, 14.

The boys also had the opportunity to meet with and hear words of encouragement from County Commissioner Greg Edds, state Rep. Harry Warren, Veterans Association representative Craig Northacker, City Councilman Kenny Hardin, candidates for Salisbury City Council Tamara Sheffield and Latasha Wilkes, and Go-Burrito owner and XBox game designer Mikey Wetzel.

Essie Foxx Charter School and Boots on the Ground acknowledged financial support from Rug & Home Foundation Inc.; Mary Miller and Will James; Walser Technology Group Inc.; David B. Post of the Salisbury City Council; Matt Barr; Carolina Color; Tamara Sheffield and M. Mee; Holmes Iron & Metal Co. Inc; Babaie Brothers Inc.; M&M Technology; Rick Hudson; NuSpot Technologies; Antonio Bonner; DBS Consulting; Raymond Coltrain; Don McQueen; Torchlight Academy Services; Greg Edds; State Farm Insurance; and Southern City AME Zion Tabernacle.

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