A slick drone with a camera and four blades hovered over Gurusaday Dutta Road in Ballygunge on Saturday afternoon.
A bunch of students watched in rapt attention on the ground below as a person operating the device with a remote control explained its functioning to the students.
Thirty students, studying in Classes VI to XII at various schools in and around Calcutta, attended a workshop on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) at the Ballygunge Industrial and Technological Museum, on Saturday.
The workshop was divided into theory and practical sessions.
Children at the workshop on unmanned aerial vehicles at the Ballygunge Industrial and Technological Museum on Saturday.Picture by Gautam Bose
The basic working principle of UAVs, their history and evolution and government rules and regulations on drones were the topics in the theory session.
In the practical session, they got hands-on training on assembling a fixed-wing glider, resembling an aeroplane and a multi-rotor drone. They also witnessed demo flying sessions.
“I wanted to know the mechanism behind a drone. I have an interest in space science. I want to study astronomy in the future. I loved the session,” said Shriyank Mukherjee, a Class VII student at Future Foundation school, one of the participants in the Saturday session.
“UAVs came into use in the early 20th century but were in the realm of military establishments for a long time. The world has since seen a gradual improvement in UAV technology. The use of drones has shifted from military-only to civilian lives. Today, drones are useful in an array of fields — disaster management, inventory management, archaeology to film shooting,” said Anindita Mondal, a curator at BITM and coordinator of the workshop.
The workshop will continue with another set of 30 students on Sunday as well.
The museum has contracted an external agency, Flycast, for the practical demonstrations.
Students of more than 20 schools are participating in the sessions, the first physical workshop at BITM in 19 months because of the pandemic.
“Some of the students are already familiar with the tech behind a drone and have tried their hands at making one before. This platform gave them a scope to clear their doubts and learn from the experts,” said Mondal.