Drones for STEM learning and teaching program
This program launched in May 2019 with the intention to work with primary schools in the proximity of our three campuses, as a way of supporting you and your students to develop skills in this space and to give back to our local community using our collective expertise. The program quickly turned into something MUCH bigger and by the end of the year we had worked with nearly 60 teachers, around 900 students, and well in excess of 1000 community event participants spanning from the Brisbane CBD to out west in Roma.
Despite the varied contexts and conditions, our program purpose remained the same: developing the confidence and key skills required to operate and manipulate a drone safely and ethically.
In 2019, the program consisted of two parts:
- 1.5 hour professional development (PD) session to build teacher capacity and confidence in using drones and understanding their pedagogical purpose.
- 1 hour workshop for students (several can be run over one day) to build all students’ confidence and skills in manipulating a drone as well as understanding the principles of safe and ethical drone flying.
The teacher PD usually took place prior to the student workshops, so that teachers could fully participate and contribute to the event together with USQ staff. The PD and workshops were free of charge and the USQ team provided the required equipment and technology.
Our plans to grow and adapt have been slightly slowed down by COVID-19, but not completely.
Here is what the program looks like in 2020 ...
Rather than academics delivering the program in schools, we have trained up six Specialist Drone Student Ambassadors (SDSA) who are university students enrolled in our programs in the School of Civil Engineering and Surveying and the School of Education.
The SDSAs will work in pairs to support the following two activities:
Delivering an online training package for teachers (up to one hour)
- 45-minute workshop via Teams/Zoom focused on:
- Information about drones and how they are used – real world applications
- Drone safety and ethics – requirements
- Educative uses and curriculum links
- Providing an opportunity to practice flying a drones
- The SDSAs will deliver the necessary resources to your school
- They will also be the key liaison in terms of the student event (e.g. confirming dates/times, what is needed, etc.)
Online workshop event for students (up to one hour per class)
- SDSA will open event (online via Teams) with introductions and discussion with students about drone use and safety
- Teacher will take students to a space to undertake drone activities and the SDSA will remain available by phone during this time to trouble shoot any concerns
- Students return to working with SDSAs in an online space to discuss and debriefing learnings
Like in 2019, these events are entirely free of charge and will have all resources provided (with COVID safety measure re: hygiene and social distancing in place).
After experiencing the basics, we are more than happy to work alongside school staff to develop more complex workshops (e.g. coding) and to discuss ways to meaningful integrate drones into the school’s programming.
To book in for this SDSA -supported program click hereAlso seeking ...
We are also hoping to run one-day workshop for teachers in rural and remote parts of the State later in 2020. We have funds to cover these events and are seeking interest from regions/clusters who might like this professional development opportunity.
With big thanks to the teachers from Oakey SS, Pittsworth SHS, Quinalow SS, and Moffatdale SS, who helped us in kicking off these activities in Term 3.
Please contact Ange on Angela.firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.