Drone education programs are part of empowering kids (we call them Legends) with the skills for tomorrow’s economies.
Truth is, the world is in the throes of what people are calling the fourth industrial revolution, and advanced technologies like AI (artificial intelligence), computer programming, and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) are here to stay. Students who will soon fill the jobs of tomorrow are learning the real-world applications of these tools today.
Here are some insights into what drone education programs are, and how drone training equips students in STEM skills for STEM careers.
Want to bring a drone education program to a school near you? Our team is always happy to talk drones. Contact us to learn more.
Integrated STEM Programs for Drones
Drone curriculum programs don’t exist to only teach kids how to fly drones. Drones present students of all ages with practical STEM concepts and infuse real, engaging, hands-on learning into a classroom environment. Easier said than done, in most instances, but drones are a really unique tool that can set up meaningful, sticky learning experiences.
Drones cover all four areas of STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math – into the classroom learning experience. A growing number of studies reveal what students gain from this type of integrated STEM curriculum.
Science + Drones
Students get real-life learning in physics, geography, and topology using drones. Examples: learning to navigate the drone and projecting how to properly resolve flight failures. There is also aerial drone views, flight mechanics, planning & problem solving (using the scientific method), and tons more.
Technology + Drones
Drones use screens, but they also have motion and mechanics. This is an important component of technology to keep in front of kids, because equipment and tools like this provide foundational knowledge to how tech works. With drones, kids can be part of building (or repairing) moving pieces. They also get an intro to coding, computer programming, and robotics concepts.
Engineering + Drones
Part of the tech knowledge delineated above overlaps nicely with engineering concepts. From learning the remote controls to mapping a programmed flight mission, drone education inspires students to not only grasp the main ideas, but put them into practice.
Math + Drones
Math can sometimes be theoretical or abstract, making it tricky for different types of learners to understand. Students who don’t quickly grasp mathematical concepts may arrive at better comprehension of formulas and data through physical, observable, and fun drone lessons.
To learn more about how educators can include drone education in the classroom, read this: Tips for Successful Drone STEM Curriculum.
Education Enhancement: Programming Drones
Drone education programs can also expose students to coding and programming. Drones in our STEM drone curriculum are operated using pre-programmed code blocks. By crafting a drone education program this way, coding becomes a natural part of flying drones.
In an effective drone curriculum, students have the opportunity to learn and practice coding, then observe their findings to adjust commands for the next mission. Even NASA encourages today’s learners to take part in drone coding activities. Students work as individuals or teams to code a variety of flight missions.
Drone Education & Coding
Intensive drone flight path coding requires programming languages such as Python, C++, and Java. But kids don’t need to have these advanced programming skills to practice coding drones in a classroom setting. What they do need is a drone learning API (Application Programming Interface), often built into mobile apps or drone computer programs for students.
Through a drone programming platform, such as DroneBlocks, kids can drag and drop specific commands for their drone to follow. These coded commands are pre-set on the backend of the platform, so students learn the basic building blocks of how programming works, and can be inspired to learn more advanced programming over time.
Drone Education & Robotics
Drones familiarize students with coding, but there are ancillary skills drone education promotes as well. The whole field of robotics requires not only programming, but design, assembly, operation, and maintenance of unmanned autonomous systems.
Many drone courses teach students how to design and build their own drones, repair crash-related damages, and replace essential machine components of the drone. All of these are critical skills in robotics.
Drone Education & Film
Photography and film professionals are using the incredible image processing abilities that drones provide. Drones strapped with HD cameras open a whole new world of videography, landscape photography, and bird-eye scenery for visual presentation. There’s no doubt that in addition to STEM innovation, drones are enhancing the arts.
One Idaho drone program for middle school and high school students showed an increase in the creative ideas sparked by drone education. From artistic movies to oceanographic mapping, drone images create new paradigms through which students can observe the world.
Drone Training Programs
In recent years, drone training programs for middle school and elementary school grades have become popular. Some schools have even built designated drone arenas to provide ongoing drone education on campus. The results of some of these educational drone training programs have shown an increase in creative thinking, problem solving, team building, and an enhanced, long-term interest in STEM careers.
The Atlantic reviewed the value of classroom drones, pointing out how the drone industry is expected to grow to a multi-billion dollar one over the next ten years. Other drone programs, like California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, seek to provide STEM learning to marginalized students in their communities. Out-of-the-box drone training courses are widely available via summer programs, extracurricular intensives, and charter school drone classes.
Drone Training Colleges
Drone education for elementary school, middle school, and high school students is so important because it acts as a gateway to higher education STEM majors. Introducing students to drones early encourages an ambition to explore drones and STEM fields in college.
There are numerous drone colleges and training programs that offer opportunities for young people who want to become experts in the world of drones. Whether it be at a university, trade school, or in the military sector, adult training courses take drone learning to the next level.
Drone Legends: A Drone Education Program (& So Much More)
Drones are more than flying toys (although we know they’re crazy fun!). Drones represent an emerging opportunity for modern discovery and the future development of a tech supporting growth in virtually every industry. Educating students with drones is becoming a new normal, which of course, gets us fired up. We see the Legends emerging: with skillful teachers stirring up curiosity and students setting out on a journey of lifelong learning adventures.
At Drone Legends, we will stop at nothing to encourage kids along that path of investigation.
The goal of drone education programs for elementary and middle school students is to bring the growing world of STEM to the classroom in fun, interactive ways. For the best drone learning experience in the world, contact our team today.