STEMpower

Drones Everywhere!

As mentioned in a blog written several months ago, drones have become a hot button topic in politics. Despite its many advantages (some of which will be situated in forthcoming sentences), the general public is still relatively hesitant to adopt the understanding that drones can be inherently beneficial when leveraged in a helpful, mindful fashion. Again, while there may be positive reinforcement of drones within the context of education, massive media outlets have often portrayed drones as being a maligned object capable only of utter destruction, ultimately resulting in provoking the base instinct of fear within those are unable to have a more thorough understanding of what these (generally speaking) unmanned aircrafts can do in bringing about, in a seemingly unpopular light, a better global society.

Drones, in a broad sense, are typically defined as being a kind of robot or machine that is able to complete tasks that can be accomplished without the actual direction of a human. That is, while drones are ultimately programmed by human beings, they are not “manned” (in a denotative way) by actual individuals; these remotely controlled objects have the unique ability to save time, lives, money, and other resources to reach a specific goal. 

One of the most common and thus most often understood method of employing drones is in the outdoors. According to most sources, the US has a stringent law requiring that drone users keep their machine within visible range; this measure is most strictly enforced in more “sensitive areas” like “parks, schools, hospitals, and churches” (Woods, 2015). The rule of thumb is that the drone must be able to be operated within the specific span of 400 feet (which is also applicable when used on private land). While this law is actively charged within the realm of private business and practice, the government has a more flexible range by which it can utilize airspace in enacting drones.

Interestingly enough, in referring back to the knowledge of the general public, many individuals are unaware that drones can be used within the context of the classroom. That is, they can be essentially built using STEM understanding, but their intent can be valuable in social studies, language arts, science, and even current events-related activities. A great source of “what works in education”, Edutopia provides an interesting article entitled “7 Ways to Use Drones in the Classroom” which provides an awesome snapshot of how educators can help students understand the power of drones in light of multiple disciplines (Wolpert-Gwaron, 2015).

PCS believes in the power of drones to provide powerful information across the proverbial board, and it is a privilege for us to develop our own drone curriculum and products. We are also mindful of the reality that, while there is still some perpetuation of massive hysteria due to an improper understanding of these unique creations, there is an even greater push for the students of this generation to be adequately equipped to utilize all technology possible to create a better educational environment and subsequently a better world.

 

*Check out PCS Edventures drone adventures at the SBA Flying Circus Competition in Covington, VA on Facebook, and our most recent UAV product launch

References

Woods, B. (2015). How to use personal drones legally: a beginner’s guide. Retrieved May 25, 2016 from http://thenextweb.com/gadgets/2014/07/04/use-personal-drones-legally-beginners-guide/#gref

Wolpert-Gawron, H. (2015, November 12). 7 ways to use drones in the classroom. Retrieved May 25, 2016 from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/7-ways-use-drones-classroom-heather-wolpert-gawron

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