4-H’ers Discover Drones on National Science Day

Kenneth Gautreaux  |  2/2/2017 4:25:37 PM

Craig Gautreaux

4-H Club members in Rapides Parish got an up-close look at a col­lection of drones, and they got to build one of their own during 4-H National Youth Science Day on Oct. 5. The exer­cise was part of a lesson called Drone Discovery, and nearly 1 million students nationwide participated.

For nine years during National 4-H Week, the youth organization has dedi­cated one day to a lesson emphasizing sci­ence, technology, engineering and math or STEM.

Chrystal Bowie, 4-H agent for Rapides Parish, said the activity helped teach stu­dents basic flight principles.

“We are doing this to promote STEM education among our youth. I think it’s a great opportunity for them to engage as engineers for the day,” Bowie said.

One of the focal points of the lesson involved the students constructing their own foam plate glider, which was called an FPG. After constructing the FPG – made entirely from a single foam plate – the students test flew it and observed how it reacted when certain modifications were made.

“It was fun cutting it out and kind of challenging, and I like things that are challenging,” said Michael Cruz, a 4-H Club member.

Parents helped some of the students assemble their aircraft.

“He’s so active in 4-H. He was the grand champion in cookery. He’s been to 4-H camp. He’s done several different projects. He loves 4-H, and it’s a good way to keep his mind strong and keep him off electronics,” said Jessica Cruz, Michael’s mother.

4-H’er Kloria Sewell said she likes that 4-H has allowed her to visit many dif­ferent places across the state, including 4-H camp in Grant Parish and the State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

“I like that I can go places and I can do things through 4-H. I got to attend LOST Camp and go to the Capitol,” Sewell said.

Randy Price, an LSU AgCenter agri­culture engineer, demonstrated flying a small drone to gather information related to agricultural crop production.

Craig Gautreaux is a communications specialist with LSU AgCenter Communications

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LSU AgCenter engineer Randy Price demonstrates how a drone works during National Science Day activities at the Dewitt Livestock Show Facility near Alexandria. Photo by Olivia McClure

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