The Bronx Community College Science and Technology Entry program held a Drone Day for students from the Sports & Arts in School Foundation on Thursday, April 13.
Several dozen middle school students from SASF sat in awe as members of the BCC program displayed their latest gadgets.
The Science and Technology Entry members presented handmade drones, a motorized rover and a gas powered, mini race car.
They showed how each machine was made, how they are controlled and their purpose.
For example, the motorized rover is capable of traveling on terrain from different planets and is outfitted with an arm for collecting sediment from the planet.
In addition, the rover is outfitted with sensors - an infrared sensor, an ultrasound sensor and a temperature sensor - to enable it to better explore its surroundings.
SASF students also learned fun facts about emojis.
For example, for an emoji to be available it must be approved by the Unicode Consortium.
In addition, software developers have created a full keyboard of emojis and even translated the Bible into emoji form.
At the end of the presentation, the Science and Technology Entry members presented their drones.
The SASF students learned that the small batteries in drones can power a drone for up to 4 to 5 hours.
Also drones can be programed to follow their controller by sensing that person’s body heat.
Finally, the middle schoolers went outside and took turns flying the drones and controlling the mini race car on the BCC track and football field.
Allison Jeffery, head of SASF’s S.T.E.M. program, said it is important for the middle school students to see the fun they can have with science, engineering and technology - especially with the job demand in those fields.
“There’s 40,000 computer science jobs in New York and only 3,500 computer science graduates,” said Jeffrey. “That means that they can’t fill these jobs.”
Eugene Adams, head of the Science and Technology Entry program, said it was good for students to be able to interact with this type of technology at a young age.
“Our kids need more time on-task,” said Adams. “They need to have exposure to higher concepts but we have to introduce it in a way in which they can have physical experiences.”
Kadeem Thomas, a Fordham resident and member of BCC’s Science and Technology Entry program, was happy to be able to share his knowledge with the middle schoolers.
“This is an opportunity to not only encourage their potential as kids but for me personally it is an opportunity of redemption,” said Thomas, 23. “When I was younger I did a lot of stupid stuff and at that time I thought it was cool.”
Thomas also said it felt good to show the opportunities available for minority students.
“As black kids we don’t have a lot of options,” said Thomas.
He said the Science and Technology Entry program has allowed him to reach his own demographic in a positive way.
“This is widening the opportunity for our kids and we need that as much as possible,” Thomas said.
The Science and Technology Entry program at BCC includes students of all ages and non-BBC students.