Apple co-Founder Steve Wozniak is partnering with the Drone Racing League’s DRL Academy STEM program to create an interactive “Science of Drone Racing” curriculum for middle school students in 2022, the league announced Tuesday.
Draganfly (NASDAQ:DPRO), a drone solutions and systems developer, and Robotify, a virtual coding platform for students, will also join in on the project with Wozniak’s Woz Ed, a K-12 science and STEM curriculum provider.
“We look forward to partnering with top companies and philanthropic organizations to help kids discover new passions and career opportunities in tech and science while shaping the industry to be more diverse and inclusive,” Rachel Jacobson, DRL president, said in a statement.
What to Expect
Students will build, code, and fly drones using physical kits. They’ll also compete in e-sports-style programming competitions and gain exclusive access to DRL season viewing events to watch the league’s pilots compete.
The league hopes to use this initiative to attract students to the burgeoning drone industry in the U.S., which the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International predicts will need to fill 100,000 jobs by 2025.
Fueling the demand for these STEM-based jobs has been the focus of Woz ED, an initiative by the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) co-founder that delivers personalized learning programs and pathways for K through 12 students to encourage job-readiness, especially around the most in-demand tech sector jobs. Its drone curriculum has various lessons and challenges for drone building.
As the DRL has become more visible, Wozniak will be able to improve the Woz ED footprint.
“The Drone Racing League has a tremendous influence on young sports fans and future tech innovators, and we’re excited to team up to create a drone racing curriculum that ensures learners are job-ready for the most in-demand tech sector openings,” Wozniak said in a statement.
Through its own drone partnership with Robotify, Woz ED has enabled students to learn new skills in STEM-related fields. In May, Robotify announced it would support Woz ED by bringing its “virtual robotics technology to Woz ED’s curriculum and help virtualize the physical aspects of their existing business in an effort to increase access to even more students on a 1-to-1 basis.”
Robotify’s CEO Adam Dalton called the agreement a “truly unique and special partnership to inspire millions of young learners.”
Meanwhile, the deal with Draganfly is an expansion of an already established partnership, as Dragranfly was a founding partner of DRL Labs, an innovation hub working on new drone technology. Under Tuesday’s partnership, Draganfly will serve as consultants to DRL Academy, ensuring authenticity and credibility to course content, and ambassadors for the program.
“Draganfly is excited to support DRL around their game-changing Science of Drone Racing curriculum with Woz Ed and Robotify,” said Draganfly CEO Cameron Chell. “We’re thrilled to inspire the next generation of STEM leaders at the middle school level.”
In October, Dragranfly’s Drone Pilot Training Program was adopted at Alabama State University, and it will adopt aspects of that program to meet its K through 12 audience.
Productive 2021 for the DRL
The DRL has expanded its influence across many sectors, from betting to blockchain adoption, and now to education.
This comes on the heels of accreditation and partnership with the FAA geared towards large-scale drone operators helping the FAA facilitate the full integration of UAS into the national airspace system (NAS).