HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - An unmanned aircraft is bringing Redstone and the students in the Tennessee Valley together. Students in the STEM Summer Institute program were taken to the Arsenal Friday morning.
They learned what it takes to run a military drone system. Then, witnessed the takeoff and landing of the Shadow UAS. WAFF spoke to one of the high school students, Danielle Dwellindham, who now says she may be interested in this for a future career.
"I was like, I want to be a part of this. Anybody is excited to see a drone fly. You play Call of Duty, you play games all day, and seeing it up close and person, it's exciting. Just want to be a part of something," said Dwellindham, going into her senior year at Jemison High School.
Emily Heller, an English teacher at Jemison and at STEM, said she has had an enjoyable time during STEM in her two years with the program.
STEM Summer Institute has established four years ago, with children's education as the most important aspect.
"In addition to the hands-on STEM components, for the past four years, we've been taking trips with the students to local STEM organizations such as Dynetics and we're here at the Arsenal for the first time, actually. And we really want the students to get a feel for what STEM careers are available to them, right here in Huntsville," said Heller.
Cydale C. Smith, with 4sightinc., attended the tour today with the students and explained how his company helped get them there.
"We've been working with the Cap and Gown program. We're 4sightinc. Our mission is to identify science resources and bring them to title 1 or minorities student. We arranged for the students to come out and participate and see an aspect of the military and how they perform their duties as related to science and technology," said Smith.
About 30 students got a chance to explore the Shadow.
They also spoke with unmanned aircraft operators and mechanics to ask them questions about their job. Jimmie Jones, Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army, was inspired to change career fields to UAS when he was deployed overseas. Jones now does maintenance on the unmanned aircraft.
"I told them, 'Put that education first and all of that will fall into place.' I had a couple come up to me, needed my contact information because they wanted
to pursue the maintenance background of the UAS," said Jones. Jones believes it was an education and fun time for the students.
About 30 students from New Century, Lee, and Jemison High Schools got a chance to explore the Shadow.
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