Drone Educational Enrichment Program

Drone Educational Enrichment Program

From Chris Bouse

LACRTC is starting a community S.T.E.M. drone program that will teach children and young adults how to safely build, program, and fly drones as well as introduce them to the many potential career paths involving drones.

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The Los Angeles County Regional Training Center (LACRTC) is a corporate affiliate of California Multi-Agency Support Services (CAL-MASS), a 501(c)(3) public benefit nonprofit organization. LACRTC was expressly created in 2015 to provide local, State, and Federal government agencies with the highest quality and most cost-effective training available. LACRTC is governed by a committee of public safety professionals who have extensive experience in instructional design and are certified California POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) Master Instructors. 

An ideological purpose guides LACRTC to design and deliver courses that support government agencies’ pursuit of being the best and most effective organizations at a cost true to taxpayers. This mission-centered approach allows LACRTC to apply intelligent innovation and flexibility in delivering affordable and student-centered course presentations.

LACRTC is California’s most prominent public safety small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), or Drone trainer, and has taught over 350 public safety agencies in UAS program development and operations. Our training clients range from water departments to the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the National Security Agency. Our international clients include the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the German Federal Police Directorate, the South Korean National Fire Academy.

Because of our commitment to public service and the community, LACRTC is developing a Drone Educational Enrichment Program, which will focus on educating children and young adults on the safe and proper operation of drones. This program will consist of several different course options, which will focus on the following key categories: 

  • Drone rules and regulations
  • Safe operation, storage, and maintenance of equipment
  • Best practices and responsibilities
  • Flight skill building
  • Programming and engineering
  • Application of drones in today’s workforce and Carrier opportunities 

LACRTC aims to raise the funding and equipment necessary to offer these training courses free of charge to the community. Our planned outreach is to form partnerships with schools and child-centered organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, in addition to any agency willing to help support this effort. 

Though our courses will be made available for every community, LACRTC will regularly hold special presentations for children with disabilities and those living in disadvantaged and low-income neighborhoods. The goal is to provide a safe, close, and easy to obtain educational experience for all of today’s children. 

With the appropriate funding and support, the program will start in Southern California and expand to multiple locations throughout California and eventually expand into a nation-wide program. 

To make this program happen, LACRTC needs help from you! The initial purchase of the equipment, workstations, software, and supporting costs is expensive. Maintaining drones utilized in training beginners requires constant upkeep and maintenance. Drones must be registered and insured, and we must purchase safety equipment for the students, classrooms, and outdoor flying areas. 

LACRTC will reach out to equipment manufacturers and suppliers to secure donations and/or discounts in purchasing the needed equipment and supplies. Unfortunately, the impact of COVID-19 has negatively affected these businesses. Manufacturers and suppliers are struggling to keep their doors open, as are many companies today. LACRTC plans to raise the funding to purchase the equipment and supplies needed to develop, start, and operate courses through December of 2022. 

100% of the funds raised (minus the donation & transaction fees) will be strictly allocated to the program. Donations over the goal amount will be utilized for additional presentations and to expand the program to additional areas. 

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