Girls find practical uses for drones

Elodie Ovelheiro with Eamon Kris and Connor Middleton.

Girls are keen to use drones for practical purposes and boys are more interested in their engineering and flying.

While this is a generalisation these findings influenced a local drone program aimed at encouraging more girls to take an interest in STEM projects and the approach taken by Noosa Council in attracting participants.

Peregian Beach Digital Hub director Chris Boden said previous programs run on drones which focused on racing them had attracted many boys but no girls.

“I hate stereotyping but it’s about marketing with themes and subjects appealing to the audience,” he said.

He said encouraging girls into fields of science and technology, where the demographics continue to be skewed toward males, meant attracting them in middle school years when they were considering future high school studies.

This year Council’s ‘Fly for Good’ program attracted 18 schoolgirls from five high schools across the Coast.

The five-part program, was presented by Year 12 drone experts Connor Middleton and Eamon Kriz, who operate a company called Drone Comp, and aimed to teach the students how to operate and program drones as well as informing them of their uses in environmental and humanitarian issues, such as delivering medical supplies and monitoring wildlife.

The girls were given scenarios such as monitoring an area of habitat for a population of koalas. They said the program had taught them a lot about drones and their use professionally.

“I’d always wanted to learn how to use drones and I want to have a career doing something with the environment,” Stella said.


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