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Gwinnett High School Project Soars to New Heights

Each year as part of our support of education, we award grants to schools in Gwinnett County, Georgia. These grants help pay for projects in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics—also known as STEAM. And we’re always thrilled to hear back about how these projects are going.

This week, we sat down with Tina B., a parent sponsor at Paul Duke STEM High School, one of 11 schools we gave STEAM grants to a few months back. The school has partnered with the City of Peachtree Corners and its startup incubator program and has used its grant to buy high-end cameras for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) project. Tina told us more about it and the students taking part.

“I’m just so impressed with these teenagers,” she said, explaining that the students have gone above and beyond (pun intended) in exploring the possibilities of UAVs.

First, the students learn how to operate the UAVs, she said. They learn more about engineering, physics and coding. They learn about photography, video and GPS. And they learn more about coming together and the value in acquiring many different skills.

“It’s been such an amazing opportunity for students to take part in,” she said.

In the beginning, with the support of the city, students used the UAVs to capture footage of various infrastructure elements such as roadways and drainage systems, Tina said. But then some of the schools in Gwinnett County reached out, too, and students were able to provide those schools with aerial video of the schools and surrounding grounds. A lot of that video is now featured on those schools’ websites. And even local realtors have started to inquire about the UAV services.

In fact, she said, students and others involved with the program have been overwhelmed with requests. And a few of the students are exploring how this could lead to their own businesses. One of them is pursuing a UAV commercial FAA license, she said, another is stepping up team activity coordination like “he’s a CEO.”

Tina said future plans for the project might include creating a non-profit organization that helps provide enough funding to keep the program going for years to come.

“It really has been incredibly inspiring to our students,” she said, thanking Infinite Energy, the city and schoolteachers (and sponsors) Stephen Cochran and Lee Conger. “I really want to express my tremendous gratitude.”

At Infinite Energy, we love hearing school success stories—especially when we’ve been able to play a small part in those accomplishments. Stay tuned in the weeks ahead as we cover more of the projects we helped fund in Gwinnett County.

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