Drone camp one of several offered at OC

Some of the buzz at Odessa College’s College for Kids could be coming from the drone camp inside the Fab Lab at Sedate Hall on campus.

The weeklong, all-day camp has students flying commercial drones, taking the parts out of them, designing a new version on the computer and having lasers cut out their designs, Assistant Fab Lab Director Nicholas Harrison said.

The students then put the drones back together and fly the newly designed versions. They also had an opportunity to design their own drone camp T-shirts. 

Harrison said the new drone designs sometimes work better than the commercial version, but not that often. Harrison said what’s made in the Fab Lab are prototypes and each prototype should be better than the last.

“Usually what happens is the first design doesn’t work all that good, as we know, because we’ve had some that did not fly super well. But then we go back and we learn from that. We revise the design and they wind up getting better and better as we go along,” Harrison said.

Callie Goodson, a 12-year-old University of Texas Permian Basin STEM Academy student, is in her second year of drone camp. She is one of seven attending.

Harrison said she made a flying waffle drone.

Goodson said the camp is awesome, fun, different and very interesting.

“I enjoyed it last year and it was different and I wanted to make a better drone than I did last year,” Goodson said. She added that they get the keep the drones.

Wyatt Brueckner, a 12-year-old Crockett Middle School student, said this is his first year at drone camp.

“It’s a great camp. It’s really fun and the people here are really great,” Brueckner said.

He said he heard about the camp from his grandmother who works at OC.

“So she told me about it and I thought drones would be a cool thing to do, so I signed up for it. Now I’m in the class and it’s really fun,” Brueckner said.

Michelle Brown, operations coordinator of continuing education, said there are 21 students in camp this week and there will be more next week. She added that there is still time to register by calling 432-335-6580.

Brown said registration can be completed over the phone.

Other camps include culinary, arts, ceramic pottery arts and science. Brown noted that the camp offers students exposure to OC.

“I think it gives them a chance to learn and get an idea of what it would be like if they were attending college. We offer the same programs in the same departments that they would be doing if they decided to come to school with Odessa College. They eat lunch on campus, have recess in the student lounge where there’s video games and other activities for them to play with, as well,” Brown said.