Drone flying at drone summer camp

Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Lakehurst partnered with the Toms River School District to hold a drone camp teaching students the basics of flying the aircraft and how they can be used. (U.S. Navy photo)

NAWCAD Lakehurst helps students see a high-flying future at drone camp

This summer, while unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were tested at Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Lakehurst (NAWCAD LKE), a program held in conjunction with the Toms River, New Jersey school district gave future pilots a chance to earn their early wings during a drone summer camp.  

The Drone Legends STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Fundamentals course helped the fifth through eighth-grade students learn to fly the drones, how the aircraft are used in real-world situations and how subjects like math and science apply to using the drones. The young pilots also learned about how drones can record video and how to edit the content for various uses.  

Haidy Oliveira, education outreach coordinator at NAWCAD LKE, said the camp was a fun way to introduce students interested in learning how to fly drones and help those already experienced with the machines to advance their skills.  

“It was a summer camp, so I was trying to make it more relaxed and not overly educational. Most of the kids had a really good time. They worked in groups and teams, so they’re able to help each other out,” Oliveira said.  

While some participants had more experience than others with the drones, Oliveira said everyone had a chance to learn more by the time the program ended. 

Oliveira said with the first year being a success, she’s hoping to build the program more going forward. She noted similar programs like drone racing for high school-aged students and a beginner's program for young elementary school students could be set up in the future.  

In addition to the drone camp, Lakehurst was also involved in the STARBASE program, which also focused on STEM subjects for young students. Oliveira said these programs provide benefits not only for the students but also for NAWCAD.  

“Especially locally, it’s an introduction to Lakehurst. A lot of them don’t necessarily know about the work we do here,” Oliveira said. “So, by volunteering and going into the schools, we can tell them this is the work we do at Lakehurst. And since they are local, we tell them about our education, where we went to college and job opportunities they could have. I know they’re still young, but you want to reach them at a young age to show them that if they do consider STEM fields, they would have job opportunities right in their own backyard.” 


A student flying a drone

A student flies a drone during a STEM summer camp hosted by NAWCAD Lakehurst and the Toms River, New Jersey school district. (U.S. Navy photo)

Public Affairs Officer Contact:

Contact Us

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.