For two consecutive years, U.S. Cellular has proudly supported National 4‑H Council and 4‑H National Youth Science Day (NYSD). It is a wonderful way to introduce young people to the wide range of ways that Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education is used every day in hundreds of careers. When our associates spend time with 4‑H youth in our local communities, our hope is that the kids see how what they are learning today can lead to fun and interesting careers down the road.
In my engineering role at U.S. Cellular, I get to work on many unique and challenging projects, and it’s the part of my job that I love the most. Wireless technology moves so fast that there is always something new to learn or a problem to solve. And while you may think that we engineers are sitting by ourselves at a computer all day, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I get to work with amazing people every day, and we combine our STEM knowledge together to overcome challenges that we face – all with the goal of ensuring that our customers have access to a fast data network and that their phones work when and where they need it.
This year’s 4‑H NYSD theme of Drone Discovery is especially relevant in the wireless industry. As the industry learns more about the capability of drones in real-world applications, we are watching closely to determine how we can implement this technology into our work. Possibilities include using drones to assess damage to cell sites when roads are closed due to severe weather, testing network signals on high-rise buildings, and routine tower inspections. As someone who owns two drones, I am thrilled that 4‑H youth are learning about them now, and I can’t wait to see all of the new ways they will show us how they can be used in the future.
Over the past month, U.S. Cellular associates have worked with hundreds of 4‑H youth at eight 4‑H NYSD Drone Discovery events, and seeing the creativity and energy that the young people bring has been very inspiring. One of the most fun parts of working with drones is just seeing what you can make them do. Having young people with a strong background in STEM education is critical to the ongoing evolution of how we create and use technology, including drones.