Inspiring The Next Generation of Women Drone Pilots: Skydio Youth Fly Day

Mira Marquez

According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s annual statistics, women comprised only 7.6% of registered Remote Pilots (aka licensed drone pilots) at the end of 2021. While it’s a slight increase from past years, there’s no question that the drone industry can and should make closing the gender gap a priority.

At Skydio, we’re committed to doing our part. Building off last year’s successful Women’s Fly Day, Skydio committed to expanding this year’s efforts into our local community by providing a welcoming space for young women to engage with drones and learn more about the technology.

Recently, we were excited to host a Youth Fly Day, bringing together 75 Freshman students from ICA Cristo Rey All Girls Academy of San Francisco for a day of hands-on exposure to and education about drones. It was an exciting opportunity for the Skydio team to help inspire the next generation of women pilots and engineers.

ICA was selected due to their ongoing investment and dedication to education and the proven success of supporting young women to and through college – 85% of ICA Cristo Rey graduates are first-generation college bound. Additionally ICA has an ongoing commitment to new areas of academics, including a focus on STEM classes and programming, where they offer a range of classes for the students including conceptual physics to web programming.

“I was incredibly lucky to be exposed to drones and robotics at a young age, and we are super passionate about sharing that opportunity. By hosting events like this for our local community and youth groups, we’re hoping that what we do day to day can inspire the next generation of pilots, engineers, and technologists of the future.” – Adam Bry, CEO of Skydio

At the Youth Fly Day, students rotated between stations to learn about a variety of topics, from the physics of drones and use cases to photogrammetry scanning and cinematography with drones. They even were able to fly the drones themselves and experienced some of Skydio’s unique capabilities like tracking and 3D Scan firsthand. Students gained insight into a range of technical functionality from how thermal cameras and antennas work to photogrammetry and how propellers work on quadcopters.

The day also featured a career panel where many of the women of Skydio shared advice and learnings from their own journeys pursuing STEM careers in the drone industry.