With the commercial drone industry set to grow into a multi-billion pound industry in the next five years or so, our young people are ideally placed to benefit from the opportunities this new technology offers.
Drones are undoubtedly going to disrupt the way we do things.
How that happens exactly still remains to be seen.
10 years ago, how many of us would have thought we'd have flying machines that could fit in your pocket?
Let's face it, a 120 years ago, powered flight was pretty much unheard of.
There are tens if not hundreds of real world applications out there already for drones, but they all have one thing in common - they are all adaptive.
They're all about doing what we already do in a different way. Quicker, safer, simpler and more effectively, but still just a different way of doing things we do already.
There are still boundaries to push, innovations to be pursued.
A need to start thinking outside of our experience and figure out where drones can actually take us.
We need unfettered thinkers. Thinkers that aren't clouded by preconceived ideas. People who see the world in a new and exciting way.
Who are they? Where do we find them? These awesome imaginative thinkers. People who are not afraid to look beyond horizons, try new things, share ideas.
They are all around us.
We bring them together on a regular basis, into ready-made 'think tanks'; environments where they're comfortable with exploring new ideas and discussing old ones. Learning new skills and applying those skills in creative ways - schools.
We need to provide these people, these young people, with the opportunity to explore the tools we've created. To become familiar with drones, safe with them. To become comfortable with what they're capable of. To explore new uses. To push those boundaries. To come up with ideas that our 'experiences' and views of the world around us prevent us from seeing.
Over coffee one afternoon, we at ExCAELO did a bit of creative thinking around this very subject.
How can we involve our young people in the development of the future?
From our perspective it was pretty straight forward.
Firstly, we wanted to get them excited about the technology.
We wanted to introduce young people to the world of drones and to make sure that they are aware that drones are not just 'toys'. We wanted to make sure that young people understand that these are complex bits of tech, that can be programmed to do what they want them to do - that the possibilities are endless.
To open up their thinking and get them to explore the possibilities.
Then we wanted to make sure that young people understand the basics of coding, how to go about it and have experiences of coding that are meaningful. The kind of coding that actually that lets them do things - see the physical results of their efforts.
We have significant experience in the education sector, both in teaching and in the design, delivery and management of educational programmes.
So we put our heads together and mind-mapped where we wanted to take things, sketched a broad-brush timeline and put together an initial schools workshop for trialling.
Later posts in the series will provide the detail about how we went about it, so sign-up to be kept in the loop.
The first trials have been done and we're ready to take bookings from schools, so drop us a line for further information if you're interested in booking a visit.