Last month, Flying Labs from nine countries successfully completed the She Maps Online Community Instructor course, which aims to help them create new drone training programs and enhance the programs already in place—such as South Pacific Flying Labs’ Fly Like A Girl program or Map My School at Tanzania Flying Labs.
She Maps is an Australian company with a broader vision of STEM programs, aiming to increase diversity to include students outside of the bench sciences. Their mission is to shape how science is perceived and who participates—with drones and fun as a central part of their programs.
We want the students to be having a lot of fun and be engaged in the program, so our training teaches the instructors how to create that environment, whilst staying in control of the learning.
Dr. Karen Joyce, Education Director at She Maps, trained Flying Labs participants on She Maps’ proven toolkit and methods to lead successful youth training programs and related drone engagement initiatives. “We want the students to be having a lot of fun and be engaged in the program, so our training teaches the instructors how to create that environment, whilst staying in control of the learning.”
The program that Dr. Joyce and the She Maps team have designed has already been taught to more than 4,500 students around Australia, the UK, and the US. Through this wealth of experience, the She Maps team has honed what works and what doesn’t work, ensuring that all newly-trained instructors are handed a proven curriculum and framework. Thanks to the partnership with WeRobotics, She Maps was able to train local experts in the Global South for the first time.
The online instructor program covered a range of topics and assignments including how to promote engagement initiatives, safety procedures, a detailed schedule to run an effective two-and-a-half hour program, including a wide range of scenarios to keep the students engaged. In addition, this expert training was an excellent opportunity for Flying Labs instructors to further collaborate with each other, enabling them to practice together and share their insights across nine countries. Beyond the technology, She Maps also raises awareness about gender perception and trained Flying Labs on how to adapt their training for a wide range of audiences.
This is an avenue to promote careers including those who may not make it to the top and girls who drop out.
“In our four week program, She Maps has indeed strengthened our knowledge and skills, enabling us to encourage young ladies to pursue careers in STEM-related fields,” said Kolora, South Pacific Flying Labs Youth Coordinator, one of the participants who recently completed the She Maps training. “This is an avenue to promote careers including those who may not make it to the top and girls who drop out. Introducing this at a young age will give the girls the confidence to pursue science subjects and what better way to introduce it than through edutainment,” added Tinah from Uganda Flying Labs
WeRobotics and She Maps will continue supporting Flying Labs with their youth engagement and training activities incentives over the coming months. We would like to thank participants from Jamaica, Kenya, Panama, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, South Pacific, Tanzania and Uganda Flying Labs as well as the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) innovationXchange (iXc) for their financial support.
South Pacific Flying Labs is funded by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) innovationXchange (iXc) through the MIT Solve Challenge. We sincerely thank DFAT for their kind support.