When you think back to your childhood summer camp it’s unlikely that tinkering with small machines, learning business practices, and building portfolios is what comes to mind; but that’s exactly what the students of the Crossroads School’s summer camp have been working on for the past two months. The Crossroads Future and Executive Summer Academy is hosting twenty-two 7th and 8th graders in a combination Business, STEM, and Photography Technology Camp where students are learning how to build a start-up aerial photography company from the ground up; one where the students are actually pitching their business to prospective clients and completing contracted jobs. The catch? There is no fee for this company’s services.
The camp is the brainchild of several Crossroads educators who hope to arm these students with important business skills for high school, college, and career. The students will learn how to operate a photography drone and will use it to capture footage of area businesses and their events. The model is a win-win for both the client and the students. The client will receive high-quality photography and videography at no cost, and the students will gain necessary service learning hours, as well as invaluable experience in how to pitch a client, how to create and deliver a product, and how to operate a small business. Each student is given a position within their company, such as product or cost analyst, or and are called upon by their clients as experts in their area of the business.
The nuts and bolts of the camp are designed to teach basic business principles and important STEM education. The students’ mornings are spent with Ms. Mitchell in Business class where they work on building presentation skills, public speaking, salesmanship, and writing business letters and resumes. Next, the students join Mr. Sweat to build CO2-powered race cars, all the while learning valuable physics and high-level math lessons. In the afternoon, Mr. Rock teaches the students basic photography lessons and how to operate a drone. After studying safety guidelines, local laws and regulations, spending several hours practicing on a mini-model, and running through a stringent pre-flight checklist, the students are each given a turn learning how to pilot a professional grade photography drone. And their photography skills don’t stop high in the air either, the students are also spending time in a nearby pool where they are learning both scuba diving and underwater photography.
The students have already presented their business, aptly named “Skyview Photos,” to representatives from Transamerica and Waterfront Partnership and the enthusiasm for this venture from both the students and area businesses is evident. As the summer draws to a close, the educators are already prepping to continue this summer venture as an after-school club, open to all of Crossroads’ 6th-8th grade students.
Are you interested in working with these talented students, or do you have an event that you would like to hire Skyview Photos for? Contact Jake Rockefeller