When most college students were taking advantage of COVID 19 quarantine by taking some time off, Colin Watson decided he needed a project. An Aerospace Engineering Major at the University of Oklahoma, he was inspired by Operation Space, a student-led group attempting to remotely launch a rocket they designed and built themselves. Through conversations and collaboration with fellow Aerospace students, his idea of Project Boom was created.
Project Boom seeks to build and test the first supersonic drone- meaning it will reach speeds of 700mph and break the sound barrier- no easy feat. Knowing they wanted to expand their reach and involve as many students as possible, Colin put the opportunity online and overnight they went from 10 members to over 100. Currently, Project Boom has over 330 members from 70 universities in 20 different countries across the World.
As they sought to fund the project, they knew 501c3 status would be a draw for potential donors but the process of becoming a nonprofit can be long and arduous. Time is of the essence as they are planning on testing the drone this Summer (2021). After conversations with the Tulsa STEM Alliance, they decided a Fiscal Sponsorship Fund at Communities Foundation of Oklahoma was the best way forward for their organization. Fiscal Sponsorship Funds are unique in the sense that they are designed for short-term charitable projects like Project Boom. Colin and his fellow engineers are providing a service to students all over the world who have had internships and potential job experience taken away due to COVID 19. These students are getting exposure to Aerospace Engineering and real-world application by participating in the collaborative.
Colin and Project Boom are set to test their drone this Summer and then unveil their final project six months later. We are excited to be a part of this project and cheer these students on as they work to achieve history. Check back soon for updates on the launch and results of Project Boom!