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Local high school girls to be honored for drone pilot certification

by: City News Service

Posted: Nov 15, 2019 / 06:34 AM PST / Updated: Nov 15, 2019 / 06:34 AM PST

SAN DIEGO — The Elementary Institute of Science will hold a graduation Friday for students from four local high schools in its “Girls Take Flight” drone training program.

The girls will be honored for their completion of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Remote Pilot Certification. They will also receive a $1,250 stipend for completing the program and a $250 bonus for earning the certification, allowing them to purchase their own drones.

EIS chose 10 students for the 32-week program, during which they learn to build and program drones and, ultimately, fly them. Students who attend America’s Finest Charter, Crawford High School, Gompers Preparatory Academy, Hoover High School, Lincoln High School, Morse High School and O’Farrell Charter School are eligible, according to EIS.

“Girls Take Flight is very rigorous,” drone instructor Anjelica Thang said. These girls who are graduating from the program … have put in 150 hours each. It’s a tremendous accomplishment.

Aerospace and technology companies like Northrop Grumman and the Poway- based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. have lauded the program for its efforts to get girls and young women interested in drone technology.

“San Diego is home to many of the leading unmanned aerial systems companies in the world,” GA-ASI CEO Linden Blue said. “Having a local program like Girls Take Flight that gets youth interested in UAS will help ensure San Diego remains a leader in UAS and aviation technology in general.”

The program is funded through donations from companies and foundations like San Diego Gas & Electric, Qualcomm, Aurora Flight Sciences and the Cubic Corporation as well as Northrop Grumman and GA-ASI.

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