Children try flying drones and editing video footage! A family drone event in Gunma

On November 23rd, Catalyst’s family-orientated drone event “Drone Fes 2015” was held in Gunma Prefecture’s National Akagi Youth Friendship Center in Maebashi.

This is the second drone-themed event by Catalyst following September’s drone race in Tokyo. This time Catalyst simultaneously held a “FPV drone race” and a “creative drone experience for children and students” event, providing an opportunity for both adults and kids alike to enjoy these machines.

At the FPV drone race, impressive footage taken by the drones flying at uncommonly high speeds drew gasps of astonishment from event participants.

Scenes at the drone raceScenes at the drone race

As for FPV racing itself, the fact that there will be large-scale races held in places such as Hawaii next year, shows just how big the scene is getting abroad. Even in Japan, international drone races have been getting more and more popular, and it’s predicted that more and more people will start to get involved. In the future I’d love for younger generations to take part and liven the scene up.

Drones - Technology that drives creativity and curiosity

This give-it-a-go style creative experience gave us great results by showing us one possibility for the creative development in children.

This creative experience saw each team of participants edit footage taken by a DJI-made “Phantom” drone fitted with a “OSMO” camera mounted on a gimbal with the Mac video editing software “iMovie”, giving them a taste of the movie-making process.

Creative experience - Participants concentrate on editing footage taken with the OSMO camera and droneCreative experience - Participants concentrate on editing footage taken with the OSMO camera and drone

The background behind holding this event is that there is a real danger that the Japanese education system is not doing enough to develop children’s thinking ability and creativity.

Though there are various opinions concerning post-war Japanese education, there is no doubt that this system stifles the critical thinking capability and creativity of children. I feel that the study content in elementary and secondary levels of education in particular contribute to this. We decided to hold this event to put a dent into this situation.

Recording technology such as drones and OSMO are tools for our children, who will carry our future on their shoulders, to demonstrate their creativity until their heart is content. Until now children have been able to express themselves in words and pictures, but in the future anybody will be able to express themselves through film such as aerial footage thanks to advances in technology.

The potential impact held by video footage is very strong, they’re able to shake one’s emotions and spur people into action. In the process of movie editing, you must think about how to stir up the viewer’s feelings, and incorporates elements of psychology, philosophy, design, and engineering. It’s also a wide world where being able to understand people’s values and perspectives is essential.

By experiencing a small part of this enormous world while still young, children can start to see things not from just one perspective, but from many. This cultivates critical thinking, which leads to the rearing of creative individuals.

If the number of schools taking part in these kinds of intitiatives increases, that may contribute to a basic structure for producing many creative talents.

Below you can check out the actual final films made from the captured and edited footage during this short 4-hour creative experience.

Team C’s movie

Team MicroAd’s movie

Team B’s movie

The film produced by Team B was actually something produced mainly by the local junior high school students. While getting some help from the adults in the team, shethey herselfthemselves directed and produced a movie in a short space of time that had a teaser trailer feel. After seeing this film, I realized myself how filming technology such as drones can help to incite curiosity and brew creativity in children.

Junior high school students take care of all the video footage and editing in Team B (Right)Junior high school students take care of all the video footage and editing in Team B (Right)

Technology that piques the curiosity of children and cultivates their creativity. If initiatives involving this technology were to increase, wouldn’t the future of Japanese education become brighter?


  • Catalyst
  • Thunderbird, Inc.
  • Drone Games co.

Sponsored by

  • YUME studio
  • DJI

Supported by

  • Jomo Shinbun
  • The Gunma Prefecture Camp Association

In association with

  • National Akagi Youth Friendship Center

Translated by Carley Radford




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