Drone enthusiasts fly to new heights


Molly Donaldson

Participants of Aerial Sports League workshop at Hiller Aviation museum learn how to fly drones in this glow-in-the-dark arena.

Molly Donaldson, Staff Writer

Children and adults alike gathered at Hiller Aviation Museum on Nov. 11 to share their love of drones in a workshop that taught participants how to build and maneuver drones.

The workshop, led by the Aerial Sports League, inspired kids to be involved in the sport of drone flying while also teaching them fundamentals of STEM education.

The Aerial Sports League is a drone-focused organization that spreads knowledge and love of drones worldwide. They strive to popularize robotic sports and encourage involvement in drone sports for children.

“We work to use drones as a way of sharing STEM education,” said Aerial Sports league CEO and Founder, Marque Cornblatt. “Drones right now seem to be the number one technology that is drawing kids in. They’ve had vex robots and other kinds of systems to play with, but right now drones are the thing.”

Aerial Sports League believes that drones are a fun way to learn about technology as well as a potential chance to learn how to fly real planes.

“What we really find is that not only is it a fun way for them to learn about science and technical education, but we’re potentially developing the next generation of actual pilots,” said Cornblatt.

While some are interested in drones for the technological aspect, many do enjoy flying the aircrafts because it’s similar to being an actual pilot.

“It’s the closest thing to being a pilot without having a pilot’s license,” said instructor Erich Bitonio.

Flyers also enjoy the challenge of constructing drones.

“It teaches people how to build something that a lot of people look at and say ‘it’s too complicated to build,’ and it’s not,” said Bitonio.

Kids enjoy flying drones for the fun of it as well as for the learning experience.

“I like how you can just fly them around freely. You don’t have to have a lot of experience,” said workshop participant Eric Gelber.

Though sometimes drones get a bad reputation as potential threats to security or privacy, Aerial Sports League hopes to teach the world that drones can be fun and useful.

“A lot of people think that drones are bad,” said Cornblatt. “We’re here to show that there’s a lot of good things in drones as well.”