CLEMSON — Youth across South Carolina are invited by 4-H to join approximately 100,000 of their peers worldwide in Drone Discovery month.

Kids playing with drones

Chester County 4-H Council and Youth Science Team training for Drone Discovery events.
Image Credit: Robin Currence / ChesterCounty 4-H

Drone Discovery introduces young people to the burgeoning field of drones in a hands-on, interactive design challenge. With more than 16 registered events, 1,085 participants and 92 volunteers, Drone Discovery will have a strong presence in South Carolina.

Youth will conduct the Drone Discovery challenge throughout the month of October at various locations from the Upstate to the coast. Drone Discovery will teach a wide variety of topics related to unmanned flight including flight dynamics, aircraft types, safety and regulations, remote sensing and flight control.

Created by Cornell University Cooperative Extension, the hands-on, three-part engineering design challenge will allow participants to experiment with fixed and rotary wing designs, explore the concept of remote-sensing and dive into the world of coding for real-world drone applications.

“Drones have a way of captivating young people. They learn important design concepts, problem-solving skills, and teamwork all while having fun,” said Ashley Burns, assistant director 4-H youth development in South Carolina.

In addition to individual events across the state, Drone Discovery will be featured at the 4-H exhibit at the South Carolina State Fair through Oct. 23.

South Carolina has played a prominent role in the 4-H National Youth Development Program since it became officially recognized in the 1920s with more than 90,000 youth enrolled last year and 66,273 youth specifically engaged in science, engineering and technology activities.  South Carolina 4-H offers clubs, after school programs, special interest & short-term programs, school enrichment programs, and camping expeditions. They look to help K-12 youth develop valuable skills such as communication, organization, decision-making and self-confidence.

Even youth who are not part of 4-H can participate. Additional information can be found at www.4-h.com/nysd, including information on how to register and get involved. Engineering design challenge kits are available for sale at www.4-HMall.org/nysd. Each kit comes equipped with all the materials necessary for 10 youth to complete the challenge, including instruction booklets for both youth and adult facilitators.

Drone Discovery national partners are HughesNet, Lockheed Martin and U.S. Cellular. DJI, the world’s largest maker of consumer drones, is the national sponsor.

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4-H in South Carolina
In South Carolina, 4-H operates through the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service, employing county agents who work closely with state extension specialists and researchers at the various research and education centers located statewide. Agents facilitate youth programs and provide information in a range of topics, including animal agriculture and veterinary science, natural resources and the environment, gardening, leadership and citizenship, personal growth and development, and science, engineering and technology. The program uses a learn-by-doing approach, involves caring adult volunteers and draws on the knowledge and resources of Clemson University and the land-grant university system to empower youth to become healthy, productive and contributing members of society.