From the military, to farming, movie sets, and even the Super Bowl halftime performance, drones are on the rise, and the sky’s the limit for teaching STEM skills with these unmanned aerial vehicles. This year, thanks to Randolph Electric’s Bright Ideas Grant, students from Westmoore Elementary and Highfalls Elementary have had the opportunity to program, fly, and most importantly, learn, with Parrot “Airborne” drones.
Up and Away in Math!
Ratios and Proportions took on new meaning for sixth graders at Westmoore Elementary. Working in small groups, students worked through four different stations, measuring the distance from point A to point B at each stop. After finding the distance, students flew their drones from point A to point B, and used a stopwatch to find the time that their drone made it to point B. Using their distance and time calculations, students were able to determine the speed of their drone. Now when students think about ratio and proportions, and the formula for finding speed, they can reflect on this hands-on learning experience!
Students from Mrs. Pfiefer’s 4th-grade class at Highfalls met once a week for a month to participate in “Flight School”. In Flight School, these students learned about current and future uses for drones, discussed drone safety, learned how to code using the Tynker curriculum, and then finally they were able to program and fly their drones!
|Carson Phillips showing students how to program the drone to fly.|
So what does this fourth grader hope to do next with drones? Carson explains, “I think it would be cool if there could be a drone competition like we have the robotics competition. We could have courses set up like we do for the EV3 robots and we could program our drones to fly around the courses!”
Carson just might be onto something with his idea for a drone competition! This summer, students participating in MCS STEM Camp will be using their engineering skills to build drone obstacle courses to fly their drones through!
As you can see, flying drones impacts student engagement, communication, collaboration, and other important classroom components. Students are engaged, motivated, and inspired to learn in ways that no other technology will allow.
To see more pictures and videos of drones in action, follow me on Twitter @carrierobledo