A 21st Century Education Grant from The Success Foundation has provided 4th-8th grade students at McAuliffe S.T.E.M. Academy with the opportunity to learn how to use drones. Teacher, Terence Highfield, wanted to allow his students to learn about flying drones, as well as drone safety. They also learned some flight terminology. Next year, students will dive into deeper learning through drones as they experiment with coding them on iPads/Chromebooks.
This project integrated several 21st Century Skills into the classroom including collaboration and teamwork, creativity and imagination, critical thinking, and problem solving. To begin, they examined the FAA drone safety rules and students had to work together to “read between the lines” to define the reasons for each rule. After that, they problem solved challenges that came up with flying the drones using the controllers. Students also worked together to take on different obstacle challenges, choosing the best way to navigate the course. Finally, students brainstormed possible real world uses for drones. Ideas included search and rescue, assisting in fire fighting and police endeavors, military use, entertainment, insurance company work, allowing farmers to better care for their crops/livestock through remote surveillance, and more.