Children’s museum begins drone workshops. 

July 2, 2022

Children’s museum begins drone workshops. 

Around the County is a presentation of Preferred Credit Union, www.preferredcu.org, located locally at 266 N. Jebavy Dr., Ludington.

LUDINGTON — The sound of buzzing Tello drones filled the air at Sandcastles Children’s Museum on Wednesday and Thursday, June 29 and 30, as a long-awaited drone workshops took place with approximately 40 kids in attendance. The children’s museum was awarded a grant from the Great Lakes Energy People Fund in the spring of 2020 to purchase drones and pay instructor fees for the workshop. Complications due to Covid made it necessary to delay the workshop until this summer.

“The grant from Great Lakes Energy People Fund allowed Sandcastles to purchase eight Tello learning drones and hire one of the best teachers in our area to teach kids how to use them,” Executive Director Kristin Korendyke said. “We are grateful for the opportunity to bring this kind of STEM learning to kids at Sandcastles.” STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Instructor Chad Riffle taught kids ages 5 to 14 to operate the drones using iPads to control their movement. The kids also learned to use code to pilot the movement of the drones. Kids were given instruction on drone safety and learned about real world uses for drones.

After practicing their skills, with a few minor crashes, the students were able to navigate their drones through an obstacle course using careful and precise movements.

“We were so grateful to have Chad Riffle at Sandcastles to do our drone workshop,” Korendyke said. “With his combination of knowledge of technology and his ability in the art of instruction, kids really got to take part in a quality program. Chad really has a way of talking to kids in a thoughtful and caring way, while getting his instructional points across to them.”

The grant from Great Lakes Energy People Fund will allow the museum to offer more drone workshops in the fall and winter as well.

The museum is currently open Monday – Saturday 9:30 – 3 p.m. and Sundays: noon – 4 p.m. Sandcastles will be closed on Independence Day.

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