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Russian schools buy drones to educate children in operating them, IStories reports

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Russian schools have begun buying equipment to teach children how to operate drones, according to a report by Important Stories (IStories) citing data on Russia’s official government procurement website.

The publication noted that Lyceum № 1 in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in Russia’s Far East purchased eight “children's” Orlyonok (“Eaglet”) and Osa (“Wasp”) drones in April for a total amount of almost 1.5 million roubles (approximately $18,400). The UAVs were developed in the local IT park “for schoolchildren to practice drone control skills.” Sakhalin Governor Valery Limarenko actively supported the idea.

Orders for the purchase of “training UAVs” were placed by schools № 583 and № 525 in St. Petersburg, as well as the Maganskaya secondary school in Yakutsk. The cost of each contract is about 1 million roubles ($12,300). School № 525, will buy kits “for the self-assembly of drones” in addition to the UAVs themselves. A program titled “Design and programming of drones” for students aged 12-15 will begin at the school in September.

School № 50 in Kaliningrad intends to teach its students how to design drones as well as operate them. The school’s administration plans to buy an “educational aeromodule for UAV development” for 9.4 million roubles ($116,000). Another 5 million roubles ($61,700) have been allocated towards the procurement of “a hardware-software complex for piloting UAVs with aerial photography functions.” The school notably hosts classes for Russia’s army cadets.

Schoolchildren in different Russian regions are regularly involved in helping the country’s armed services as part of the invasion of Ukraine. Children collect humanitarian aid, sew clothes, and make ‘trench candles’ and camouflage nets. School No. 53 in Barnaul began collecting broken drones in November to repair them and send them to the Russian military.

In April, Vladimir Putin backed the idea of introducing a course on drone control in Russia’s schools.

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