With the advent of smaller and smaller SUAS (Small Unmanned Aerial Systems), a technical name for drones with cameras, using one for some fun aerial hiking can be quite entertaining and educational. These flying vehicles can take videos from angles where it is difficult or even impossible to reach without a full set of fixed wings.
A fun SUAS flight will let you film creeks, lakes, and forests from hundreds of feet above the ground. The use of a drone in this way is called by many, VideoTrekking. In Southside St. Pete, a fun and very educational VideoTrekk might be from Bayboro Harbor down the winding Salt Creek arriving at the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve surrounding the Southern part of Lake Maggiore continuing onward westward to Clam Bayou Nature Preserve that includes a canoe and kayak launching point.
Not only can this activity be especially fun for young learners, but it may more importantly introduce them in a very exciting hands-on way to just how important that STEM education could be as a future key to their future educational and career opportunities.
We hope to be able to support the efforts in developing VideoTrekking.Academy programs that will include not only initial introductory experiences similar to the current course (video shown below) provided in Pinellas County Schools as a part of their K-12 STEM opportunities, but also in future more advanced curriculum for grades 8th, 9th, & 10th students. This course will then increase level of computer programing needed in order that students will then be able to also program a drone for flights using GPS* co-ordinates.
Such an Academy supporting a part of the Southside community might also attract potential volunteer mentors while also developing internship opportunities for the students in the Bartlett Park, Old Southeast, Salt and Booker Creeks, Lassing Park, and Marine District areas located within the greator Innovation District with its combined many higher educational, environmental, marine, and fishery organizations.
*The Global Positioning System tells where you are on Earth utilizing the GPS III Satellite.
The video below featuring the Tampa Bay Estuary Program clearly demonstrates how drones can currently be utilized in their continuing the monitoring of sea grasses to keep Tampa Bay and its surrounding waters clean.