The Festival of Innovation August 2019 - Drones, replica mars rover, 80's retro computers, 3d printing and more!

The Next Gen IT’s mission is to help kids become innovators by providing access to tech, people and possibilities. It has successfully curated and hosted projects and experiences where businesses, social enterprises, schools and other tech initiatives come together. They believe that through collaboration, communication and community they can create fun with a purpose and make a difference. Check out their website for upcoming events and to explore how you can participate and support yours and their mission.

We were invited to attend The Festival of Innovation by The Next Gen IT to provide the parents and children at Ditcham Park School with an insight into drones and the related technology. It was our first event of this kind and definitely not the last. Over 200 people visited this STEAM fair.

Ditcham Park School is set in the countryside surrounded by rolling hills and fields. We couldn’t resist capturing an aerial 360 photo whilst we were flying.

Being professional and experienced drone pilots we wanted to ensure we provided engaging, stimulating and thought provoking learning opportunities for both the children and parents. After all this event is all about learning whilst having fun and it went really well.

We prepared and printed an outline of a drone and asked the children what colour they believe drones should be and how they see them being used in the future. Here’s what feedback we received along with our comments:

“To help the Police and accidents on the roads” - Superb idea! We love this. In fact Hampshire Police have just trained and deployed over 30 drone pilots. You can read about that here.

“Film a cricket match to get a better view” - We don’t play cricket but enjoy watching it and what better view than to see a cricket match from the air. Superb idea, in fact, any sporting event could be captured from the air to add a fresh perspective.

“Tell you if a robber is on top of your house” - Thinking outside of the box here. Drones and security go hand in hand. Maybe in the future we will have self deploying drones from our homes?

“If there was a car crash a drone could get there faster than the police” - Love this idea… drones could even carry life saving equipment.

“To look out for danger and crime” - Superb. In fact festivals have already started using drones for security and the Police already use drones during their operations.

“To spy” - 007 James Bond watch this space!

“Going into space” - Love it! We expect manned aerial vehicle flights are going to become the norm in the near future.

“For spying and exploring new areas” - Totally agree with this. Drones can cover more land both safer and more cost effectively than travelling by foot or land vehicle over challenging terrain.

“For film and delivering mail” - Drones and film go hand in hand for sure but will drone deliveries take off? Keep a close eye on Amazon that’s for sure!

“Delivering things” - Amazons plans are becoming closer than ever to actually happening. Click here to find out more.

“They will get smaller, lighter and more powerful” - This is sooo true! We expect we will look back and laugh in 10 years time at the drones we currently use. As technology improves this is inevitable.

“Spying” - Another James Bond in the making!

“Science, scientists and spying” - Great answer, drones can carry all kinds of experimental equipment and enable us to capture huge amounts of data in a short time. Love this!

On the day we provided a drone camera operator experience above Ditcham Park School grounds enabling children and adults to capture Ditcham Park School and the surrounding from an aerial perspective.

We attempted keeping track of who was taking what photo but lost our way as our drone experience proved to be so popular! All of the parents have been emailed a link to download the drone photos the children (and parents) captured. Here’s a small selection of our favourite photos the children took:

It was an absolute pleasure to provide them with the experience of controlling our DJI Inspire 2 camera. As you can see the photo’s they captured were varied. We always say you can’t go far wrong with a top down aerial photograph or film.

How do you give your children a head start in the drone industry?

It will vary depending upon their age but here’s a few pointers to get you started:

  • Start small. Maybe an indoor drone with no GPS which although will be hard to control at first will help them gain working knowledge of drone flight and improve piloting skills.

  • Ensure they have a good working knowledge of The Drone Code.

  • Read this blog we wrote about what to do after buying your first drone.

  • Speak to your local professional drone pilots and enquire about potential work experience opportunities.

  • Research the industry and consider what part is likely to appeal to them most for example it could be filming, photography, engineering, surveying, 3D Mapping etc.

  • It’s worth getting real experience in the air via a local airport in a manned plane. This will help build their knowledge in the aviation industry.

  • Join a local drone club.

  • FPV drones are expected to be the next big thing and fast emerging. What we call standard cinematic work is becoming expected. In a fast changing industry it’s important to be different and excel in your field.

  • Check out the Drone Safe Register Amateur Flyer Membership.

We will definitely be attending more events like this in the future and we’re also in the throws of organising our own photo/video workshops so keep an eye open for this and do get in touch if you want to specifically book us in. Mean while if you’re interested in having us speak at your school, event and provide a similar experience please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Here’s a few photos we captured. We were also interviewed at the event and will share as soon as the video’s available online.