AddThis ShareMEDIA ADVISORYDavid [email protected] [email protected] school students to learn about science and engineering of drone technology at Rice Aug. 11-13Technical sessions, team exercises culminate in Drone Project Pitch CompetitionHOUSTON — (Aug. 11, 2015) — A group of 20 Houston sixth- to ninth-grade students will participate in a free drone camp at Rice University Aug. 11-13. The camp is hosted by TrumbullUnmanned and Rice’s Center for Engineering Leadership.Credit: thinkstockphotos.com/Rice UniversityStudents will learn about the design, engineering and operation of drone aircraft as well as gain hands-on indoor and outdoor experience piloting drones, according to camp organizers. The intensive camp will also explore the ethical and socio-cultural implications of this emergent technology. Instructors include Air Force fighter pilots, drone industry experts and Rice faculty and graduate students.The camp is sponsored by BP.Who: Twenty students (sixth to ninth grade) from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds will learn about drones from Air Force fighter pilots and unmanned aerial-vehicle operators, drone industry experts and Rice faculty and graduate students.What: Student team drone project design, presentation and pitch competition.When: Aug. 11-13. Each day will include technical sessions, flight training and team exercises. (The schedule is available upon request.) Final group presentations and the drone project pitch contest will begin at 3 p.m. Aug. 13.Where: Rice University, Rice Center for Engineering Leadership, Abercrombie Lab, Room A102, 6100 Main St.The Rice Center for Engineering Leadership is dedicated to promoting excellence and innovation in engineering education. “K-12 outreach offers a real-world opportunity for our engineering students to develop their leadership skills while making a positive impact on the community,” said Cesare Wright, a Rice lecturer and the center’s outreach/leadership specialist.“To prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, students need not only a quality education, but also a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM),” he said. “A key element of our STEM strategy is to support curriculum-based programs that excite students in STEM pathways. Drones offer an ideal vehicle for sparking student interest and encouraging them to develop invaluable math and science skills.”Working with Houston Independent School District teachers, the center has aligned the camp’s curriculum with Texas education standards to ensure that the experience reinforces traditional classroom instruction, according to Wright. “The drone camp is designed to engage students in the applied practice and teamwork scenarios that are often difficult to replicate in a more conventional classroom setting,” he said.Throughout the camp, students will work closely with professional and academic mentors who will coach them on technical skills and provide individualized guidance to ensure that students take the academic steps necessary to become competitive at the college level and beyond.Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at [email protected] or 713-348-6775.Related materials:www.rcel.rice.eduFollow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.