Drone Racers from the Australian Army Drone Racing Team gave regional Queensland a demonstration of their skills, military capabilities and digital technologies at the Queensland TAFE “DigiTrek” Roadshow last month.
CAPTION: Drone racers Sapper Alex Brown, Flight Lieutenant Jayden Hasemann and Lance Corporal Daniel McCullock fly their drones during the Queensland TAFE “DigiTrek” Roadshow. Photo by Captain Sarah Vesey.
The team spent four days travelling to Roma, Dalby, Kingaroy and Toowoomba delivering workshops to high school students and business groups on digital technologies, including drones, agricultural technology, artificial intelligence and 3D printing.
Captain of the team, Sapper Alex Brown, said there was a natural synergy between digital skills in the sport and the skills required of the future workforce.
“The Australian Army Drone Racing Team is really proud to be a part of this fantastic initiative that is providing greater access for young people in regional Queensland to engage with STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] in ways that are often not readily accessible in remote communities,” Sapper Brown said.
CAPTION: Members of the Australian Army Drone Racing Team demonstrate drone racing and military capability drones to students. Photo by Captain Sarah Vesey.
“The young people we have met in the workshops have been so interested and engaged in learning about drone racing and how digital skills are so fundamental to all jobs, even traditional trades. A lot of the students we met live on rural properties and drone technology has real utility in agriculture.”
The Army drone racing pilots, accompanied by a pilot from the Air Force Drone Racing Team, engaged with more than 300 students aged between 15 to 18 from many different schools throughout the week. This included the entire senior class of six students from Proston State High School, located in the remote South Burnett region, who travelled more than an hour to attend the Kingaroy workshop.
CAPTION: Drone Racing Team pilot Lance Corporal Daniel McCullock chats to students about drone racing. Photo by Captain Sarah Vesey.
Patron of the Army Drone Racing Team, Chief of Army Lieutenant General Simon Stuart, said the collaboration of the drone team with Queensland TAFE was a great opportunity to bring STEM to regional communities.
“I am continually impressed by and incredibly proud of our drone racing pilots, who are fantastic ambassadors for Army and the new and emerging technologies of drone racing, coding and robotics,” Lieutenant General Stuart said.
“Drone racing is a great way to engage in STEM and develop lifelong skills of critical thinking, collaboration and creativity in our young people.”
In between workshops, the team was also able to visit the local Air Force cadet unit in Roma before returning to Brisbane to compete in the national qualifying trials for entry in the Drone Racing Nationals, scheduled to be held in Townsville in August.