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DaVinci Scholar Drone Takes Flight at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum

On September 5, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History hosted Kashmir World Foundation’s (KwF) “Drone Experts Are In” event to inspire innovation and inform visitors on the Great Falls-based non-profit’s groundbreaking drone efforts in education, wildlife research, conservation, and counter poaching to protect wildlife worldwide. KwF’s science and technology division, Kashmir Robotics, is hosting the Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge (wcUAVc) to encourage global collaboration in the design, build, and implementation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or drones to protect endangered species from wildlife poaching and trafficking.

As a spin-off of the wcUAVc, the non-profit has created the DaVinci Challenge: Build a Drone Workshop to foster science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) education amongst students of all ages in the DC Metropolitan area. The workshops have been hosted at their partner Microsoft at the Microsoft Store in Tysons Corner Center, private schools including the Potomac School in Mclean, Virginia, and the Crime Museum during the Wildlife Trafficking Exhibit. Kashmir World Foundation provides graduate workshop students the opportunity to become Drone Mentors and assist others with their drone build during forthcoming workshops. With over a hundred DaVinci Scholars from the workshop, the DaVinci Challenge has grown to empower students to solve real-world problems by building real-world applications.

DaVinci Drone Mentor, Arthur Tisseront, took the unprecedented step of flying his hexacopter drone inside the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. during the “Drone Experts Are In” event. Ellen Oskoui is another DaVinci Scholar and student at the Potomac School who has decided to pursue her drone use idea after being challenged during the Build a Drone Workshop to consider new applications for drones. With the continued support and guidance from Kashmir World Foundation, the 9th grader is currently in the research and development stages of inventing the world’s first “Cluster Counting Drone” to gather valuable data for grape growers and winemakers in order to improve the efficiency of crop yield estimation.

Kashmir World Foundation projects are advancing drone innovation for conservation, humanitarian, and other real-world applications whilst modernizing education for the future of our next generations. Their efforts in education, wildlife research, conservation, and counter-poaching are not calls to action, they are the action.

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