Our 5th graders recently completed a project using educational drones. The learning experience integrated technology, creative writing, critical thinking, and mathematics (among other important skills). Students worked with one of our technology teachers, Mr. Adam Hinnenkamp, to create original drone challenge courses. You can read about the #EduDroneChallenge project and how your students can participate HERE.
The video below features one group’s project. Kids created an original theme (Medusa’s Lair) and integrated learning targets into their challenge. I’m so proud of our students and continue to be inspired by the collaborative learning experiences our teachers are providing. Sometimes students are so immersed in their work that they express genuine disappointment when they have to go home or outside for recess. They don’t want to stop what they’re working on in school. You gotta love it!
*Note: If you’re receiving this blog post via e-mail you need to go to https://adjustingcourse.wordpress.com/ to view the 1 minute YouTube video posted above. The video documents the drone challenge our students created.
You might be surprised to learn that your school can purchase a drone for less than $50 dollars! If you’re interested in connecting with other schools that are cultivating critical thinking and creativity using these cutting-edge “quadcopters” this is the blog post for you! Welcome to the “EduDrone Challenge!”
Here’s how it works: Teams of students create a Challenge Course for their drone to maneuver through. Each Challenge Course should feature 4-8 mini-challenges for drones to navigate. Students need to create detailed plans that are drawn to scale, and use precise mathematical terms so that schools across the country can replicate the same Challenge Course design. (Please read the academic standards information below for explicit learning objectives.)
After a team of students has created their Challenge Course plans, they should select a creative theme and write a narrative that describes the Challenge Course in imaginative terms. For example, students that incorporate a hula-hoop as one mini-challenge could describe the hoop as “a black hole that the Drone must jettison through in a distant galaxy.” (Please read the Common Core writing standards below for explicit learning objectives.)
- Brainstorm objects for your Challenge Course (i.e. cones, hula-hoops, etc.).
- Develop a detailed plan using graph paper or drawing paper. Click HERE to see a sample plan.
- Be sure to include measurements and the appropriate mathematical terms.
- Select a creative theme and write a narrative describing your team’s Challenge Course.
- Practice navigating your Challenge Course and make adjustments to your detailed plan or narrative as needed.
- Share your classroom or team’s detailed plan and written narrative with other schools. Use the #EduDroneChallenge hashtag on Twitter.
- Try to recreate Challenge Courses from other schools using the detailed plans they create and share.
We will be posting plans and video that our students create in the coming weeks and look forward to connecting with other schools.
Academic Standards Information:
- I can understand fractions in real-world situations by creating a detailed plan for a drone Challenge Course using fractions/percentages, and successfully building the Challenge Course. (Math: Number/Operation 22.214.171.124)
- I can draw a representation of a three dimensional figure, and create an authentic drone Challenge Course that utilizes the same measurements and points represented by my drawing. Each mini-challenge in my Challenge Course represents one vertex or point in the 3D object. (Math: Geometry & Measurement 126.96.36.199)
- I can write a narrative to develop a real or imagined experience using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. (Writing: Common Core College & Career Readiness Anchor Standard for Writing)
- I can use technology resources for problem solving, self-directed learning, and extended learning activities. (ISTE Nets & WPS Technology Standards 5, 6)
- I can reflect on and adapt to the ever-changing nature of technology and understand how and why technology works. (WPS Technology Standards C & D)
Watch this TED Talk to see the science of drones!
Our school started by purchasing a Parrot AR Drone for about $300, but we are also investing in durable mini-drones for much less.
Connect with @GWtechWPS or @GustafsonBrad with questions!