June 7, 2024

Drones and Chicago First Responders Take Flight at Johnson College Prep’s Youth Fly Day

Mira Marquez

Mira Marquez

Skydio For All Community Engagament Event

A Day of Learning and Inspiration with Partners in Education and Safety

Students at Johnson College Prep explored the world of drones and their applications in public safety at our latest Youth Fly Day, presented by Skydio For All. This event brought excitement and cutting-edge technology to the school and opened a new horizon for students interested in careers that uniquely combine STEM and service to their communities.

Representatives from the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Fire Department, and Chicago Office of Emergency Management came together to demonstrate drones' pivotal role in their daily operations and emergency response scenarios. These agencies shared insights into their collaborative efforts that helped maintain safety and efficiency in managing city-wide emergencies and discussed how drones had become an integral part of their toolkit, aiding in tasks ranging from search and rescue operations to Drones as First Responders (DFR).

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Empowering the Youth of Englewood

Located in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Johnson College Prep serves approximately 500 students, with a significant majority identifying as Black. The school is deeply integrated into its community, focusing on creating a nurturing environment that encourages academic and personal growth. As a Hope Chicago partner high school, Johnson College Prep offers its students and a parent the game-changing opportunity to attend a partner college in Illinois for free, with ongoing support.

This event was particularly poignant given that over 40% of the students at Johnson have been directly or indirectly affected by gun violence. Students had the additional opportunity to hear from the National Black Empowerment Council reminding them that they are the leaders and innovators of both their community and our world. Initiatives like Youth Fly Day not only provide educational enrichment but also hope and a vision for a safer community through technology and innovation.

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A Focus on STEM and Future Technologies

The school's robust STEM program and science curriculum are ideally suited to incorporate emerging technologies such as drones. Events like Youth Fly Day are essential in bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical, real-world application, showing students the impact of technology in professional settings all the while building exposure and relationships with public safety agencies and their communities. At the end of the event, Skydio For All donated two Skydio 2+ Pro Kits to the school so students can continue learning how to use them for photography, cinematography, data capture, and photogrammetry. In addition to the hardware donation, UAV Coach donated online Part 107 training for faculty.

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The Chicago Youth Fly Day at Johnson College Prep was more than just a demonstration of drone technology; it was a day of learning, inspiration, and community engagement. It highlighted the powerful synergy between education, public safety, and technology while providing a platform for students to envision a future where they, too, can contribute to advancements in technology and public safety. Johnson College Prep and its partners continue to pave the way for young minds eager to explore and excel in STEM fields, ensuring they are well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities.

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