Hoover Math and Science Academy STEM Club students are preparing for jobs that do not even exist yet with a quadcopter skills contest.
Presumably one day, people will be delivering packages for Amazon or other online retailers with drones. Fifth and sixth graders from the Schaumburg academy have been customizing and learning different flight maneuvers with small quadcopters (drones).
Steve Kyle, is a teacher and STEM Club faculty adviser for the students.
"The students have come a long way since we started the team competition last January," Kyle said.
Parents and student siblings attended the Super Drone Bowl, which was video- taped and will appear on the Golden Corridor Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (GCAMP) Web page at www.gcamp.org.
It will also be sent to the middle school for their newsletter and other media distribution.
"With college debt at $1.3 trillion, students and parents really need to begin exploration of careers at a much earlier age than in the past. They need to learn about working with their hands, on project teams and solving problems as early as possible. Higher education is just too expensive these days to throw a dart at a board to decide one's career path. We sponsored this event as a career exploration primer for future engineers and manufacturing workers and hope to expand our reach next year," said Gary Skoog, president of the Golden Corridor Advanced Manufacturing Partnership.
Skoog, a former college career counselor, recognizes another advantage to promoting manufacturing: Not every kid is cut out for college.
The public schools are stepping up. Across northwest Cook County, GCAMP has assisted partner school districts in enhancing their manufacturing classes and deepening their career inventories.
Partnerships have been key to GCAMP, which is still learning to think regionally. Skoog, who retired after 13 years as director of economic development for Hoffman Estates, acknowledges that it's been a big mind shift for member municipalities Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates and Elk Grove Village.