We are thrilled to announce that Meghan Salter, a long-time drone classroom user and teacher from West Virginia, is joining the Drone Legends team! Meghan could be considered an OG when it comes to drones in school. Here’s a little more about her story, how she uses drones in her classroom in WV, and how she’ll be adding some on-the-ground efforts (and offering up her classroom as a real-time testing ground) for Drone Legends.
An Early Adopter of Drone Technology for School
A decade ago, drones were just entering the scene and being evaluated for commercial and educational use. While we see drones in schools all of the time now (not to mention delivering medicine, packages, operating camera equipment, etc.), it wasn’t so common a decade ago. That’s about when drones came across Meghan’s radar. And it wasn’t nearly as easy then as it is now to make the idea of teaching kids drones a reality.
About Meghan Salter
Meghan is a Special Education/Gifted Education Teacher in the Cabell County School District in West Virginia. She has received national recognition for her use of drones in the classroom, but doesn’t have a background in technology. This is unique, because even without a huge penchant for using tech in class, Meghan realized the potential of drones in special education and education contexts early on.
Introduction to Drones
It all started in 2015, when Meghan had a good friend and former colleague from the gifted program who approached her about showing the kids some new technology. He had a small recreational drone, and asked if he could bring it into the classroom to show the kids. Of course, Meghan agreed and what she saw brought on an “Aha!” moment:
“I didn’t know what drones were but I saw the interest in the students with just the little toy drone that he had and I thought, ‘whoa there’s something to this.’ There wasn’t curriculum for it yet but, seeing how excited they were, I thought ‘I have to do something with this.’”
And “do something with this,” she did.
Getting a Grant to Fund Drones
The next step in Meghan’s journey was getting a grant to fund drones. Like all elementary school educators nationwide, she faced the challenge of funding. Not having access to any deep pockets, she realized she’d need outsourced monies to fund drones in the classroom, so she started to write grant proposals. She initially received a grant of $1,500 to buy drones for her classroom, and so she bought both the equipment and supplies, and she was off.
Growing Interest for Maximal Engagement
Meghan immediately saw the payoff, and after this first year of investigation and exploration, drones became something she was known for. Her creative use of drones to support STEM education has been newsmaking, and she is regularly recognized for her efforts.
Here are some of her most noteworthy accomplishments using drones in school:
2019 Education Honoree for Women to Watch in UAS by Women and Drones
Teacher of the Year Finalist – Meghan was one of five finalists for the 2020 Teacher of the Year award in West Virginia.
2021 Cabell County Schools’ Teacher of the Year
Annual Drone Olympics – Meghan’s ultra-creativity led her to develop the annual Drone Olympics, where kids face challenges and have to perform tasks with their drones, competing for top spot.
Meghan Finds Drone Legends
Meghan has really accelerated progress for drones in the classroom everywhere, providing a great example of what’s possible and what kids can really learn with drones. As drone classes, drone afterschool programs, and drone camps become more popular, those of us in the field are starting to connect. Meghan first became aware of Drone Legends when she was speaking on a panel facilitated by none other than Drone Legends founder, Scott Buell.
For years, Meghan had used a piece-meal or DIY drone curriculum for her classroom. It sufficed, but there had never been a comprehensive, research-backed, standards-aligned drone curriculum she felt really met the need of learning for kids. Until Drone Legends.
She immediately realized that what Drone Legends had in the market was completely unique, and likely the future of drone education. Joining the Drone Legends team, she brings an awesome perspective, not to mention a classroom full of eager minds who will provide the feedback we need to make sure our drone curriculum is truly “student-tested/teacher approved.”
A Testing Classroom for New Drone Legends Content
Meghan’s tactical and implementation skills will provide real-word, real time feedback for everything NEW that the Drone Legends curriculum team is creating. We are so stoked that Meghan’s classroom and students can beta-test all of our big, bright ideas for drone education, being the first to try out new drone missions for upcoming curriculum modules.
If you see Meghan on our social platforms, here on the blog, or in your email inbox, be sure to say H-E-Y! We can’t wait for her to provide a peer-to-peer teacher resource for all of you educators, and offer up all of her wisdom and insights to ensure that Drone Legends is the best drone curriculum in the world!
Drone Legends: Drone Curriculum for Classrooms
The curriculum team at Drone Legends is led by Vonae Turner and Claira Wilson, and their innovative approach to educating kids about drones is revolutionary.
Set in drone missions, Drone Legends curriculum provides an experience-based approach that is supported by the following resources:
- A graphic-novel style Student Mission Guide
- An Educator Lesson Planner, adaptable to any pedagogical approach or teaching framework
- An Operations Manual, or technical “book of answers” to support independent fact-finding
Drone Legends also offer Professional Development opportunities and resources for teachers who wish to refine their skills and enhance drone learning in class.
Drone Legends is available for in-class, out-of-class, or anytime learning. To learn more about licensing the Drone Legends curriculum at your school, contact us today.