Students in Inuvik, N.W.T., build and fly their own drones

Students in Inuvik are getting a higher education this week. 

Drone training has been happening for Grade 7 and 8 students at East Three Secondary School. 

Students are being taught regulations, safety rules and the different things drones can be used for. 

Once they learned the rules and what is legally allowed, they were able to fly mini-drones in their school. 

The groups were also able to assemble their own drones and fly them inside the classroom. 

Maverick Aleekuk-Lennie is a Grade 7 student who is really interested in technology and was eager to pilot a drone on his own. 

Maverick Aleekuk-Lennie, a Grade 7 student at East Three Secondary School, was eager to pilot a drone on his own.  (Dez Loreen/CBC)

“We’re seeing through the eyes of a non-living thing that we control and it goes a lot faster than us,” he said. 

The one-day program is being hosted by Indigenous Aerospace, a group that promotes and educates drone use in remote communities across Canada. 

Jacob Taylor is the CEO of Indigenous Aerospace and was in Inuvik to help facilitate the event. 

Taylor said bringing drones into the schools and giving students first-hand knowledge is the first step in starting careers in that field. 

“The program is really great at inspiring young people to engage in science, technology, engineering and math careers as well as curriculums so it’s a really positive retention tool,” said Taylor. 

The introduction to drone piloting is something that really interested Grade 8 student Thomas Wilbert Thrasher. He plans on starting a company that produces video games, and this technology is something he would like to use in the future. 

Two kids work to assemble electronic parts at a table.
The students built the drones from scratch. (Dez Loreen/CBC)

“I just really want to start my own company. I really want to learn how to code video games, I have been learning about that for a while,” said Thrasher. 

Using a drone to scan and map areas is something of interest to Thrasher so he can integrate that into his video games. 

Thrasher hopes to see more programs like this in the school soon. 

“This is really interesting and they should do it more,” he said.

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