Joining a drone club is THE FUNNEST way to learn and explore mechanics, flight, coding, and more.
Many drone clubs are popping up these days, giving kids and adults a sharper knowledge of STEM in a hands-on, get-in-the-mix, work-together environment.
If you’re wondering where to get kids involved with drones or learn how to fly drones in person, read on for all of the important ideas.
STEM Programs for Kids to Fly Drones
The best thing about drone flying is it teaches kids important STEM applications that relate to real life.
To find a program that incorporates drones and STEM, you have a few options:
Summer camps and winter camps are using drones for extra learning excitement. Drones can also be included in existing STEM camps, such as coding camps, robotics competitions, photography camps, and more.
Drone Enrichment Programs
Extracurricular enrichment programs use drones to educate kids on current concepts they’re learning. Because drone flying is becoming more popular, you can find them for elementary, middle school, and high school students today.
Drone Learning at Home
If there are no options for drone programs in your area, you can always learn at home. You just need to have the right drone and a basic plan for at-home learning. Read some tips for finding the right drone for kids here.
Ask local schools, parks and recreation centers, and kids’ clubs if there are any programs that currently use drones for learning. You might be surprised to find some already exist. If not, you could request a leader to start one or plan one yourself.
Should I Start a Drone Club?
Starting a drone group in your community gets kids interested in STEM, even if the subjects may bore them in traditional learning settings.
Interested in starting your own? Great idea!
There are many reasons to start kids’ drone clubs. Here are some examples of what learning to fly drones can do for your school and community.
- Drones introduce students to the latest technology. They have a chance to realize new interests and practice career-savvy skill sets.
- Team drone piloting is a way for kids to develop social skills, teamwork, leadership, and problem-based learning.
- Drone clubs let you preview how effective a drone curriculum could be at your school or education program. If you’re not ready to establish a formal curriculum, a club can be a great starting point.
- Kids learn real-world skills when flying drones– skills they can use for the rest of their lives.
- Drones can bring kids of varying social groups together. Students who might never interact with each other on the playground are equally enthralled by drones, willing to form teams and engage despite each other’s differences.
You already see the potential in starting a club. But how do you create one that works?
How to Make a Good Club for Drone Learning
There are a few things you need to know when setting up a great drone club that kids will love. Here are some important things to consider when setting one up in your area or school.
Know the Regulations
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has certain rules and regulations for flying drones. Read the guidelines before starting a drone club to make sure you’re not breaking any laws. If you run into setbacks, you could try flying microdrones safely indoors.
Explain Unmanned Aircraft Safety
Drone flight requires safety, responsibility, respect, attention, and trust. Craft a detailed list of what kids need to understand before ever touching a drone.
Spend a few sessions teaching proper setup, flight controls, and expectations. Drone club and class management are important, so equip yourself ahead of time.
Assign Drone Pilots and Co-Pilots
Pull off your club effectively by setting up teams of two. Each drone team consists of:
- Pilot: the person who flys the drone using a controller
- Co-pilot: the person who helps the pilot navigate with verbal commands and directional guidance.
Pilots and co-pilots take turns so every kid gets a turn to experience different roles of drone flying.
Outline Drone Missions
Make assignments before club sessions. Decide if the club will run a coded operation or only focus on manual flying for the day. Create hypothetical rescue missions and allow kids to practice trial and error. Drones are a great tool for learning from your mistakes.
The best part is that we’ve already done this for you in our totally turnkey drone curriculum: connect with us to learn more.
Offer Different Drone Activities
Aside from STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), you can operate drones to study photography, design, climate change, and even business concepts.
Drone programs typically use activities such as:
- Drone racing
- Programmed missions
- Coding challenges
- Obstacle courses
- Drone footage competitions
There are so many activities you can do using drones. You just have to get creative.
Prepare the Materials and Resources
Have everything required to run a safe and fun drone club. Here’s a list of items you may need:
- Controllers (tablets or joysticks)
- A poster or slide deck of pilot rules
- Extra batteries or charging cables
- Safety goggles
- Hair ties to protect long hair from drone propellers
- Cones or safety markings for flight zones and pilot zones
- Warning signs for any surrounding pedestrians
- Worksheets and pens
- Drone curriculum outline
- Attentive leaders and club coordinators
Are you bringing the magic of drones (via Drone Legends) to a drone club near you? Check out the Drone Legends Professional Development: world class training + unlimited attendance allowed.
Where Can I Find Kids’ Drone Groups Near Me?
Whether you want to find an existing drone group or are ready to start one up at your location, we’ve got everything you need to ensure your learners (and educators) succeed.
To sum up, you can:
Find a drone program at a school or camp. Many STEM programs are starting to offer drone-specific learning.
Create a drone club at your school or enrichment program. If you can’t find one, make one.
Find a drone curriculum or drone educator to help you include drones in an existing club. You can find training and networking opportunities here. Want to connect with drone groups who are supporting young pilots toward becoming future Legends? Contact Drone Legends today to get involved with the best drone club near you.