The Young Engineers Club provides opportunities for members to participate in projects and competitions related to the field of engineering and the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The club’s activities and projects are intended to promote a spirit of creativity and innovation among members.

Fall Semester 2021: Club Meetings begin Tuesday, August 24, 2021 3:00 pm        
The Young Engineers Club meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month, 3:00 - 4:00 pm. Last semester's club activities focus on training for how to professionally fly drones and operate other remotely controlled vehicles. If some students are interested we can work together on designing attachments for transporting items to or from locations otherwise difficult to access.
Students of the Young Engineers Club assisted local middle school students during the STEM SEALs Summer Institute 2021 using a model aircraft carrier for Sea and Air mission support. The carriers function as landing platform and ATC (air traffic control) for drones and observers for operations in the water using on board WiFi camera.
Search and Rescue Airboat

The above image shows the remote controlled airboat with robotic arms designed and built to retrieve in-maneuverable boats or other floating objects. During the Spring Semester, the YEC's members will explore how to attach and operate an FPV camera on the airboat.
A former student of NFC's Physics class is now in his final semester of engineering at the University of Florida and replied when he heard about recent activities in YEC's drone program: "That's awesome. Thank you for sharing that with me. I have to keep my eye out for more updates on the club's activities. Also let the members know that there are a lot of drone related Senior Design Projects in Engineering where they can use the knowledge and experience they are getting."

P4 Heavy in Flight
Image of the Phantom 4 Heavy on the first test flight with a robotic arm designed for search and rescue operations when small payloads have to be transported to inaccessible locations. An Arduino microcomputer provides battery management, receives commands from the drone's remote control, and lowers and raises the hooked arm when required. Airports around the College are far enough away that the Young Engineers Club can fly on campus without restrictions. Federal regulations require approval by Air Traffic Control before flying a drone within a radius of five miles of an airport.
B4UFly Madison FL
Screen copy from the FAA's B4UFly app.
Southeast of Greenville: 20FD Pratt Airport (Private), rwy 17/35 3070 x 100 ft, turf surface.
North of Lee: 99FL Madison County Airport, rwy 9/27 2640 x 100 ft, turf surface.
Northeast of Lee: FD63 Squires Aviation Ranch Airport, Jasper, FL, rwy 18/36 2600 x 200 ft, turf surface.
North of Pinetta: Bird Field Airport, Jennings, FL, rwy 3/21 2450 x 100 ft, turf surface.
North of Pinetta, West of Bird Field: Estherbrook Aerodrome, Madison (Private), FL, rwy 18/36 2000 x 65 ft, turf surface.
YEC Team flies at the Baseball Field
YEC Club members fly their drone preparing to deploy a (plastic figure) parachutist testing a drone sky hook remotely controlled by the pilot. They learn that weather conditions not only affect flight performance of the drone but also how different the glide trajectory of the payload can be, especially under strong wind conditions.
GPS Map Nature Center
Precise mapping of wooded areas with few reference points can be a challenge. However, the drones of the Young Engineers Club are perfectly suited to get the job done fast. The above image is a GPS map of the trails at NFC's Nature Center obtained automatically by flying a drone in "follow me" mode along the partially densely wooded paths. The image itself is a screen copy from the controller monitor, which shows the path flown superimposed on satellite imagery.
Super Saturday
YEC and Astronomy Club members present their activities to visitors on Super Saturday.

Aerial photography of NFC's Driving Range. Members of the YEC are practicing as drone pilots, air traffic controllers, and videographers.

YEC Drone Flight Team

Some of the members of the YEC pose behind their drones after flying and performing aerial photography of the new power substation of Tri-County Electric Cooperative. (Photo courtesy of Kaitlynn Culpepper, TCEC)

Madison Water Tower

City of Madison Water Tower

Campus Flyover

NFC Campus Flyover - Lake Osceola and Wood Duck Pond

Young Engineers club

At NFC students participating in the Young Engineers Club not only have fun with drones but also acquire skills for flying UAS (unmanned aerial systems) proficiently, safely and purposefully. Knowledge about flight navigation, aviation regulations, the physics of motion and engineering of aircraft and radio communications are learned. Advanced students may explore the possibilities of autonomous flight and develop strategies on how to plan and execute robotic operation of the aircraft.

NASA 2015 Awards Ceremony

In previous years, NFC students participated in the NASA Engineering Competition for Florida Colleges. Our team placed first in the 2015 Competition.

Robotic Operation on Mars

Students operating their robotic vehicle on the simulated moon surface at Kennedy Space Center.

NASA 2016 Rocket Launch Preparation

Rocket Launch Preparation in the Rocket Garden of Kennedy Space Center

NASA 2016 Weather Balloon Launch

Weather Balloon Launch documented by the use of a drone.

NASA 2016 Awards Ceremony Astronaut Capt. Jon McBride congratulates NFC Competition Teams at the awards ceremony

NASA 2015 Competition Team

The Gold winning team from NFC at the NASA Community College Engineering Competition 2015. Above: The team assembled in the early morning in KSC's Rocket Garden.