Written by Undergraduate, Sara Peluso (Environmental Studies major), Carolynn Turneur (Biology Major)

The Citizen Science GIS Team took the maps, apps, and drones tour to Laureate Park Elementary School on April 19th. We had the absolute pleasure of spending time with 40 students in the after-school program at Laureate Park Elementary in Lake Nona. Students had a chance to learn about drones, community GIS and how they can integrate these topics into occupations of their choice. The students were extremely enthusiastic about the event, many had prior drone flying experience. The kids also explicitly asked how they could apply GIS and drone work to their future careers (veterinarian and architect).

Carolynn conducting the Maps, Apps and Drones presentation.

Before our young pilots took control, we explained to them the advantages of using drone imagery vs. satellite imagery. When asked how drone imagery could be effective in emergency situations like a hurricane, our intelligent students answered, “live coverage, quicker access to the public, and visual changes that have occurred due to an emergency situation”. Today we were able to teach these amazing students at Laureate Park Elementary on how drones can be used in almost any field of work, and not just for snooping on their siblings.

A student flying the drone over the model. Many of the kids attempted to land the drone on one of the dots for a precision test.

Many of the students were eager to fly the drone, as most would expect. They had amazing piloting skills for such a young age! Most kids were able to fly the drone over the model and execute a perfect landing. Being outside did have its challenges, however. The wind blew the drone all over the place, requiring the students to work extra hard to keep the drone over the model.

The CSGIS team and the students at Laureate Park Elementary.

Although we only had an hour to spend with the students, we had a fantastic time teaching them about GIS and Drone Work. The most exciting thing about this event was at the end, the students were asking how they could use GIS in their future careers. This alone shows us that students are really engaged and are learning about GIS and its capabilities through our workshop tour. We would like to personally thank the students of Laureate Elementary, Ms. Lampkin and Mr. Toribio for inviting us to their school to share our knowledge about GIS. If you are interested in our tour coming to your school, please let us know!

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