Droning On: The Da Vinci Challenge Continues!
Our second Da Vinci Challenge team attended its first workshop Sunday to begin building a drone that will -- hopefully! -- make its maiden voyage on Sunday, February 8 when Foxcroft again hosts “Flight Day.” Dr. Maria Eagen, the group’s advisor, notes that this team is particularly excited about moving towards the next phase of the Da Vinci Challenge, which is motivated by using drones to track endangered species. ”The excitement level is high," she says.
Here’s a report from team member Olivia '17:
Some say that the environment and technology cannot go together, but sometimes a drone can save an animal. This is what the Kashmir World Foundation is proving by providing the Da Vinci Challenge. The Da Vinci workshops show people of all ages how to build a drone with the goal of using drones to keep poachers away from endangered animals.
This is the first year that Foxcroft participated in this grand program. Four girls went one day a week for approximately a month in the fall of 2014 to build a drone. Each girl had a job to do, whether it was taking notes of the process or connecting wires of the “hexacopter” drone they built. In October, this drone passed its flying test on Big Track at “Flight Day.” Foxcroft hopes to use the drone for school management, such as an overview of the campus or in classes like STEM.
In 2015, Foxcroft is again participating in the Da Vinci Challenge with a new set of girls: Hannah '17, Chloe '17, Abby '18, Savannah '18, and me. Slight differences exist from last fall. We are building a quadcopter instead of a hexacopter. Also, there’s a new addition to the drone’s frame: it contains LED lights. This new group will have its second meeting on January 25 and Flight Day is Sunday, February 8, from 11am to 3pm at Foxcroft. We are excited for our next drone gathering, and the second drone seems to be on a successful road.
Dr. Eagen adds, "The team has already selected a camera to mount on the quadcopter and has begun to design a mount for the camera. The mount will be created on Foxcroft’s 3D printer. The team is very excited about taking this new technology and using it to gain valuable information."