Week Two Update
Things are heating up!

It was an exciting second week of the Advanced Technology and Technology Management Internships as Pacific Coast Hobbies finished up its instruction and the quadcopters got off the ground! Additionally, interns began researching and developing their subprojects and received a special presentation from a city official.


Flying a quadcopter without first practicing on a virtual simulator for at least a few hours is nearly impossible and very risky to the life of a quadcopter. With all the virtual crashes behind them, students successfully practiced on the video game-like flight simulator before taking to a real transmitter to fly the quadcopters.

Under the supervision of the experienced Pacific Coast Hobbies pilots, each Advanced Technology Intern (ATI) flew a quadcopter on a helipad adjacent to PVNet. They enjoyed the process of discovering the best way to smoothly maneuver and land the unmanned aerial vehicle. ATIs will be able to fly on their own by purchasing a few additional parts for each of their quadcopters. The extra items will complete the setup and make each UAV flight-ready.

Week_2_1Mahdad, from Pacific Coast Hobbies who has a masters in Engineering and Design specializing in UAVs, provides flying advice to intern Barkha Scherp and other students.

           Research and development into inventive modification ideas began this week, as subproject leaders successfully organized their team’s meeting on Thursday’s independent lab day. As project teams met to identify goals, the complexity of various aspects, such as building a spectrometer while recording accurate GPS locations were identified.

ATIs engaged in productive discussions on the best approach and equipment for their projects, and received mentoring for assessing solutions, benefits, and costs.

Subprojects related to quadcopters include attaching a laser signaling system, a remote-controlled grappler, a spectrometer, an infrared camera, and a 4 wheel UAV.

Week_2_2College intern Clay Van Nortwick, who has a broken ankle, receives flying help.

PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: An iPhone’s flight
After practicing his quadcopter flying skills on the helipad, intern Raul Castrellon boldly decided to sacrifice his iPhone’s safety for science! Velcroing and taping his iPhone 5s to the bottom of a quadcopter, he flew his phone into the sky to capture a one-of-a-kind bird’s eye view of the landscape. The daring flight produced impressive video footage as well unforgettable memories for all the interns.

Week_2_3Raul velcros and tapes his iPhone 5s to the bottom of a quadcopter.

Week_2_4The second session ATIs – while laughing at their unsuccessful attempts to wave at the camera – admire Raul’s video footage.

Week_2_7All completed quadcopters now on display in the PVnet Annex

Michael Throne, the Director of Public Works for Rancho Palos Verdes, took time out of his packed schedule to give an informative and interesting presentation to the entire internship. He provided an interesting history of the evolution of engineering, and shared many of his experiences and the type of engineering skills he has acquired and which apply to his position as PW Works director.

Throne also discussed the future of engineering such as autonomous vehicles and miniscule, self-sustaining ornithopters. Interns were provided with an opportunity to ask questions and engage an exciting discussion at the end of the presentation.

Week_2_5Guestspeaker Michael Throne talks about his career path and current duties as Public Works Director for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Field Trip: Pacific Coast Hobbies
On Saturday, June 28, the Advanced Technology Interns (ATI) went on a field trip to Pacific Coast Hobbies located in Lomita. The trip afforded an opportunity the large group of interns to formally thank Theo Captanis and his engineering assistant Maddy, and Helicopter flight demonstrator Keith for all their time spent during the quad-copter project. Everyone joined in along with some of the staff of Pacific Coast Hobbies outside to take a picture with all of the completed quad-copters.

After the picture was taken, the sub-project groups divided to discuss their projects with Pacific Coast Hobbies employees. Sub project groups, such as the “4 Wheeled Quadcopter” project and the “Near Infrared Camera” project, were given the opportunity to discuss their ideas/concepts with professionals, many of whom were able to provide recommendations.

Week_2_8Most of the ATIs and staff of Pacific Coast Hobbies gathered out front with completed quadcopter.

Week_2_9ATIs browsing the store for parts for subprojects

Learning to use audio recorders and microphones can be a daunting process, but not at PVNet where a wide array of equipment is readily available. Using a portable studio quality PCM recorder is a new experience for Alyssa Oda and Maggie Chen, but they learned the basics quickly, and will soon be ready to record high quality interviews to incorporate into the video documentary. Students in the Podcasting Broadcast Journalism internship, under the direction of professional radio and TV personality John Clayton, will also publish the interviews later this summer.

Week_2_10Alyssa Oda and Maggie Chen learn to use a pro-recording system to record interviews.

On July 2nd, Joel Rojas will give PVNet interns an exciting presentation about his experience and responsibilities as Planning Director of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Also, on July 3rd the successful PVNet alumnus and typeface designer, David Ross, will return to the Annex to speak with our interns about his awesome career in font design.

There will be no scheduled class on July 4th, but PVNet will be open for all to see during the city’s annual Fourth of July Celebration!

Week_2_6Assisted by GPS LITE, intern Ben Stout pilots his quadcopter.


Summer Advanced Technology Internship – FILLED

High school and college students will build the base of their own UAV quadcopter to record geographical aerial images and GPS data for the city of RPV. The course ends August 22nd.

3D Animation and Game Design – A continuation of the 3D Animation Level 1 class, this course teaches students game development and other ways their 3D animation skills can be applied. The class takes place from July 7th to July 30tk from 9AM to 12PM.

3D Animation Level 1 –This course is a unique creative opportunity in which industry professionals teach animation software to school-age students. The class takes place August 4th to August 27th from 9AM to 12PM



            Since its founding in 1995, Palos Verdes on the Net (PVNet) has dedicated itself to community service through technology education and training. The non-profit’s internet training has had a profound impact on Palos Verdes Peninsula and its neighboring cities. More than 75,000 adults have received technological training and over 4,000 students have come through the program at no cost. PVNet also has a long history of providing grants through their technology outreach program. Students receive class credit through Palos Verdes High School and Palos Verdes Peninsula High School.

Special thanks to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes for making this program possible for the past 20 years.