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Good Afternoon,

I am a teacher at a high school that has many tech savvy students that are wanting more than just a book education. I was fortunate to receive a grant to purchase a drone or maybe a couple of drones. I am reaching out to get feedback from the knowledge base of this community. I am torn between one higher end drone and camera option or to purchase a couple middle of the road drones and cameras. We are hoping to create a club for students who may have a passion or will create one for this Drone Tech Marvel through this project we have started with the money provided by this grant.  Thoughts please.

Along with this I would like to reach out to this community to see what may be available in the "hand me down" or recycle aspect of the drone world. Many of you more than likely have drones that are in good working order, but you have moved on to bigger and better drone options. If anyone has moved on to those greener pastures and have drones that are collecting dust many of the students I teach would be happy to literally "Knock off" the dust to learn more about this fast moving technology. I would like to say that as a teacher I am always trying to encourage my students to look beyond tomorrow, the vast array of drone jobs that will be available will most likely double within the time many of these students graduate from high school; so my thought is to ask for your thoughts on creating a relationship with the drone business community and our students. This will benefit both as a way for my students to learn how to operate, maintain and possibly refurbish the drones for many purposes. Todays workforce is moving away from the work with your hands our parents did, to only woking with your mind. I believe that this industry will require both mind and steady hands.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Please be nice if you feel this is not the place to ask these questions.

I look forward to hearing your input and the options you encourage for my students,

Scott Berry

Alabama Teacher 

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This topic is coming up more often lately, which is a good thing.  

Two years ago it was probably good enough to teach people how to build and fly drones, today I don't think that's the case anymore.  As the commercial UAV industry is beginning to get some traction the application of the drone is a lot more important than being able to fly it.  Managing young students expectations and their desire to fly drones and commercial operators need to have knowledgeable employees on the application of drones can be a tough thing to balance.  It also depends on how long do you have access to the students?  That would help determine what you tried to accomplish.  The program we support spends half of the first year teaching primary flight and Part107 and the second half of the year the different applications.  For students who stay for a second year they start working on the practical application of drones, survey's, DEM, 3D Photogrammetry, LiDAR etc.

Its not that your late to the game, your not, but there have been quite a few before you with the same request for resources.  We've provided something like 15 different DJI drones to various programs.  Also you can use much less expensive smaller drones inside to teach manual dexterity of primary flight.

Here's the program that we support: 

Interestingly the idea of starting a club is often talked about but its something that has not happened.  

Here's a typical flying day:

Finding a commercial operator in your area willing to support your program with resources is important, but I think its more important to find the right partners that can provide opportunity.  The more younger people are exposed to the application of drones the more likely they are to get an entry level position in a company like mine.  

Where are you located?

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We are located in South Alabama on the Mobile Bay. Fairhope.

I have one class that is considered an outdoor Physical Education class that meets all year. As stated we are looking for best bang for buck when it comes to creating the opportunity for students to learn more about this technology. The hope is to create a desire to learn about topics that are outside the normal subjects that will also give them insight into what is available after high school.

Thank you, the videos were informative and i feel that students here at FHS would benefit from these types of challenges.

We have an engineering group that competes in a  competition with students from across the globe in creating a moon buggy that treks across a course for time. This competition is held in Huntsville, Alabama each year. Very cool process.

Thanks again for you insight and time,

Scott

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I'll add this to this thread in case you @Scott Berry find it useful. Its part of a recent set of informal presentations from some of the core developers of the open source flight controller software called Ardupilot. It does focus on building and flying drones rather than using off the shelf ones for applications like photography and mapping.

 

Edited by Spitfire76
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  • 5 months later...

Hi Scott,

I am a program coordinator and emerging tech expert for Arizona State University in the Entrepreneurship + Innovation, Youth Entrepreneurship department. I work with 30 high schools in 7 cities all over the US implementing a grant program for a major corporation. This year, we are adding drones to the technology available (at my urging). We are offering 2 drones.

For schools that have a focus on programming and learning more about building/programming drones and no real interest in helping students pursue a 107, I recommended the Ryze Tello (it's in partnership with DJI). These little drones are $99, fully programmable with python or JS Node, can swarm in groups of 3b or more, and are less than 1/2 a pound, so not subject to FAA regulation. They are also pretty indestructible. My 2 yo granddaughter three mine at the wall and not as scratch. They have a 720 fixed camera and can do some pretty cool pre-programed stuff. They are controlled with a cell phone app, and you can get a remote that works with the cell phone for about $30. The FAA thing is important to me if they aren't going to pursue a 107 so they can post their images and videos (possibly promoting the school, or highlighting their skills for professional advancement) without fear of censure from the FAA. I believe in teaching students the rules and getting them off on the right foot.

The second options for schools looking to focus on career opportunities in the UAV field and will have at least the teacher licensed with a 107, I am recommending the DJI Mavic. It is a good entry level professional drone with a price point that doesn't break the bank around $800. It has a 4k camera with rotation and is also programmable. For schools that choose this option, I will be encouraging and supporting the teacher and students getting their 107 licensing.

I hope this helps answer your question. I was a classroom teacher for 9 1/2 years prior to my current position. I am also a 107 pilot and have my own drone side hustle.

Best,

Kim

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On 2/27/2018 at 3:25 PM, Scott Berry said:

We are located in South Alabama on the Mobile Bay. Fairhope.

I have one class that is considered an outdoor Physical Education class that meets all year. As stated we are looking for best bang for buck when it comes to creating the opportunity for students to learn more about this technology. The hope is to create a desire to learn about topics that are outside the normal subjects that will also give them insight into what is available after high school.

Thank you, the videos were informative and i feel that students here at FHS would benefit from these types of challenges.

We have an engineering group that competes in a  competition with students from across the globe in creating a moon buggy that treks across a course for time. This competition is held in Huntsville, Alabama each year. Very cool process.

Thanks again for you insight and time,

Scott

Hi Scott,

Were you able to create and implement a program last semester?  If so, how did it go?  If not, why not?  I don’t mean that in a snarky way.  Is there more advice you need to help either get your program of the ground or grow it?

see what I did there?  Program “off the ground.”  Those are supposed to be air quotes but they look so real.  I crack myself up..

all (bad) joking aside, how’s it going?

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Hi Scott,

We have been teaching 500 + kids how to fly a mini drone indoor (no need to be FAA compliance).  Also, we implement STEAM hands on activities in the drone technology.  For example, we build a drone gate out of construction paper and tape (origami engineering) and use it in the drone obstacle race and we implement a drone delivery application (ex. Amazon Air, UPS, etc) project.  As for the design and build, we use the F450 quadcopter (assemble and programming).

We are working with 4H to roll out the program - Intro to Drones and STEAM.  Also, we are working with a makerspace company to bring the drone racing for underprivileged kids.

If you are interested, please contact us at info@stemdrone.org so we can start the discussion.

Best Regards,

Chieu 

STEAM/ Drone teacher

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  • 3 months later...

Hi,  while I am new to Drones, I have taught lab sciences using interfaces, probes and data collection sensors.  You might consider some team teaching opportunities where Drones would be used for a remote sensing platform or to demonstrate things like Newton's kaws of motion.  A good company to work with is http://www.vernier.com .  Ask your felliw science faculty.  They might even already have some of this company's stuff.  While Drone-Building is "old-hat".  It is still academically efficacious [ DJI FLAMEWHEEL kits ].  Writing code to fab Drone parts with a 3D printer has ed value too.

Edited by ThunderBot
fat fingers on my touch screen kbd lead to spelling mistakes
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