They say children tend to emulate what they see around them and going by the five patents for drones filed by Blue Blocks Montessori School in the city, that saying may very well be true.
Students aged 6 to 10 from the school have come up with five concepts inspired by what they saw around them. Founder Pavan Goyal says that their programme at the school’s Drone Research & Innovation Centre focuses on experiential learning.
“Children have an amazing ability to learn things instinctively if you explain it to them from an early age. We have built aeronautical, electrical and mechanical engineering programmes around drones.
In a 45-minute class at the centre, only 5 minutes are spent on explaining theory and terminology, the rest of the 40 minutes consist of practical sessions. Children at that age are interested in building or creating something,” explains Pavan.
Children spend four hours every week at the centre situated within the school. “What we observed was anything practical based excites the children. Through the innovation programme, they can also invent from an early age,” says Pavan.
The Drone Research & Innovation Centre is headed by an IIT-Chennai aeronautical engineer who teaches the children how to make drones at an experiential level. Based on what they saw, the children built around ideas of each other in groups and came up with drawings that were then made into prototypes using cardboard, thermocol, etc. The whole exercise was done in pre-pandemic days.
“The ideas they came up with were wacky, but some were very useful too. The five ideas that are pending patent are a drone system that can rescue a person from a borewell, health system to monitor people and scan for diseases when human contact is not permissible (inspired by the pandemic), system to provide essentials to users and medical assistance to users in remote locations, security drone where pepper spray and guns can be attached was the idea of a child who saw his mother working late hours,” adds Pavan.
Once the patents are approved by the Indian patent office, the children are free to develop them when they grow up as the intellectual rights remain with them.“We are also looking at setting up a drone company within the school once the children are between 12 and 16 years. They will get to build entrepreneurial skills like marketing, administration skills and develop models in real time,” says Pavan.
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