Drone Designers: Exploring STEAM Careers

  • 2,995.00 USD
 In this performance, drones are the stars!

Drones are transforming the world of arts and entertainment, performing alongside artists as diverse as Metallica, Drake and Cirque du Soleil. Follow in the footsteps of the world’s groundbreaking drone designers, weaving together the engineering design process and principles of aerodynamics as learners collaborate to costume, choreograph and code tiny aerial robots in creative performances. Use your imagination, problem-solve and explore STEAM careers through the innovative ways drones are being used for good! 

Grades: 4-8
Students: Up to 30
Contact Hours: 12+ hours

Subject Targets:

Art/STEAM, English Language Arts, Technology

PCS Edventures consulted with Verity Studios while developing the Drone Designers curriculum. Verity Studios does not sponsor or facilitate any PCS Edventures programs.

Tech Requirements:

6 compatible devices (one per drone) running the DroneBlocks app and 6 additional Wifi-enabled devices for accessing music.

The DroneBlocks app requires the use of a Wifi-enabled smartphone, tablet, Chromebook, desktop or laptop running Android, iOS or ChromeOS. (Note: DroneBlocks is not compatible with FireOS, the operating system for Amazon tablets.)

Recommended Settings:

  • Classrooms looking for hands-on STEAM activities
  • After-school programs
  • Summer camps

Activity Highlights:

  • Costume, choreograph and code mini-drones in aerial acrobatic performances.
  • Explore drone technology, the iterative design process and the science of aerodynamics through a curriculum aimed at engaging learners in STEAM.

Curriculum Topics:

  • Art and Technology
  • Autonomous Drone Operations
  • Algorithms & Programming
  • Engineering Design Process
  • Real-World Careers

One Great Drone, Two Curriculum Options:

Using the same mini drone, take your students to new heights by adding-on curriculum from Ready, Set, Drone! With an add-on option available for each mini drone program, we’ve made it easy to further your student interaction with UAV technology. Manually pilot mini drones and understand the science behind flight aerodynamics with Ready, Set, Drone! Then apply these new skills to create a choreographed performance in Drone Designers: Exploring STEAM Careers.

Product Orientation:

  • Half hour free webinar orientation for purchases of $500+
  • One hour free webinar orientation for purchases of $1000+
  • Additional training available for purchase

Complete Program Includes:

Drone Designers comes with an Instructor Guide, a Curriculum Digital Download and all the print materials and supplies needed to engage 30 learners over 12 lessons:

  • Drone Designers online course class license: 1
  • Cardstock (white) (250ct): 1
  • Cardstock (asst. glitter colors) (40ct): 1
  • Colored pencils (12pk): 6
  • Construction paper (50 pk): 1
  • Craft foam (24ct): 1
  • Digital scale: 1
  • LED bottle light: 6
  • LiPo batteries: 12
  • LiPo battery multi-charger: 3
  • LiPo safe storage bag: 1
  • Metal washers: 60+
  • Mini quadcopters: 6
  • Pencils (#2) (12pk): 3
  • Pencil sharpeners: 6
  • Plastic container: 1
  • Production Team Lanyards: 30
  • Protective cages (for quadcopters): 6
  • Safety glasses: 30
  • Scissors: 31
  • Storage tub: 1
  • String (ball): 1
  • Superglue (6pk): 1
  • Tape (double-sided-rolls): 6
  • Tape (masking tape rolls): 6
  • Team tote bags: 6
  • Tissue paper (24ct): 1
  • USB charging cables: 6
  • Velcro fasteners (12ct): 6

Refill Kit:

Looking to use Drone Designers with a new flight crew? This refill kit will get you back up and flying in no time!

  • Cardstock (asst. glitter colors) (40ct): 1
  • Cardstock (white) (250ct): 1
  • Colored pencils (12pk): 6
  • Craft foam (24ct): 1
  • Designer’s Notebooks: 30
  • LED Bottle Light: 6
  • Pencils (#2) (12pk): 3
  • Protective cages (for quadcopters): 3
  • String (ball): 1
  • Superglue: 6
  • Tape (double-sided-rolls): 6
  • Tape (masking tape rolls): 6
  • Tissue paper (24ct): 1
  • Velcro fasteners (12ct): 6

Add-On Package:

If you currently own Ready, Set, Drone!, this Add-On Package is the perfect addition to build your drone collection!

The Drone Designers Add-On Package Includes:

  • Instructor Guide
  • Digital Curriculum Download
  • Curriculum Print Materials
  • Drone Designers online course class license: 1
  • Cardstock (asst. glitter colors) (40ct): 1
  • Cardstock (white) (250ct): 1
  • Colored pencils (12pk): 3
  • Construction paper (50 pk): 1
  • Craft foam (24ct): 1
  • Digital scale: 1
  • LED bottle light: 6
  • Metal washers: 60+
  • Pencils (#2) (12pk): 3
  • Pencil sharpeners: 6
  • Production Team Lanyards: 30
  • Protective cages (for quadcopters): 6
  • Scissors: 31
  • String (ball): 1
  • Superglue: 6
  • Tape (double-sided-rolls): 6
  • Tape (masking tape rolls): 6
  • Team tote bags: 6
  • Tissue paper (24ct): 1
  • Velcro fasteners (12ct): 6

Habits of Mind:

16 thinking habits developed by Art Costa and Bena Kallick to empower students to succeed in a 21st-century learning environment.

  • Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
  • Creating, Imagining and Innovating
  • Gathering Data through All Senses
  • Listening with Understanding and Empathy
  • Managing Impulsivity
  • Persisting
  • Questioning and Posing Problems
  • Responding with Wonderment and Awe
  • Striving for Accuracy
  • Taking Responsible Risks
  • Thinking about Thinking
  • Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
  • Thinking Flexibly
  • Thinking Interdependently

21st Century Skills:

A set of widely-applicable abilities essential for success in the information age.

  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Information, Media, and Technology Literacy
  • Initiative and Self-Direction
  • Leadership and Responsibility
  • Social and Cross-Cultural Skills

© 2018 Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21), p21.org. All Rights Reserved. P21 was not involved in the production of this product and does not endorse it.

International Society for Technology in Education:

  • ISTE 1d. Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.
  • ISTE 5d. Students understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.
  • ISTE 7c. Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.

© 2018 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). All Rights Reserved. ISTE was not involved in the production of this product and does not endorse it.

Next Generation Science Standards:

  • 3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
  • 3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
  • 4-PS3-4. Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.
  • MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
  • MS-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

NGSS is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.

Common Core State Standards:

  • ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1/CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.1/CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4-6 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.2/CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.2/CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.2: Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally. / Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.

© Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved.

National Core Arts Standards:

  • DA:Cr1.1.4a: Identify ideas for choreography generated from a variety of stimuli (for example, music/sound, text, objects, images, notation, observed dance, experiences)
  • DA:Cr1.1.5a: Build content for choreography using several stimuli (for example, music/sound, text, objects, images, notation, observed dance, experiences, literary forms, natural phenomena, current news, social events).
  • DA:Pr4.1.6a: Refine partner and ensemble skills in the ability to judge distance and spatial design. Establish diverse pathways, levels, and patterns in space. Maintain focus with partner or group in near and far space.
  • VA:Cn10.1.5a: Apply formal and conceptual vocabularies of art and design to view surroundings in new ways through artmaking.
  • VA:Cn11.1.6a: Analyze how art reflects changing times, traditions, resources, and cultural uses.
  • VA:Cr1.2.5a: Identify and demonstrate diverse methods of artistic investigation to choose an approach for beginning a work of art.
  • VA:Cr2.1.5: Experiment and develop skills in multiple art-making techniques and approaches through practice.
  • VA:Cr2.1.6: Demonstrate openness in trying new ideas, materials, methods, and approaches in making works of art and design.
  • VA:Cr2.2.4a: When making works of art, utilize and care for materials, tools, and equipment in a manner that prevents danger to oneself and others.
  • VA:Cr2.3.6a: Design or redesign objects, places, or systems that meet the identified needs of diverse users.
  • VA:Cr3.1.5a: Create artist statements using art vocabulary to describe personal choices in artmaking.
  • VA:Cr3.1.6a: Reflect on whether personal artwork conveys the intended meaning and revise accordingly.
  • VA:Cr3.1.8a: Apply relevant criteria to examine, reflect on, and plan revisions for a work of art or design in progress.
  • VA:Pr5.1.6: Individually or collaboratively, develop a visual plan for displaying works of art, analyzing exhibit space, the needs of the viewer, and the layout of the exhibit.
  • VA:Pr5.1.8a: Collaboratively prepare and present selected theme-based artwork for display, and formulate exhibition narratives for the viewer.
  • VA:Re.7.1.5: Compare one's own interpretation of a work of art with the interpretation of others.
  • VA:Re7.2.6: Analyze ways that visual components and cultural associations suggested by images influence ideas, emotions, and actions.

Idaho Computer Science Standards:

  • 3-5.AP.06. Construct and test problem solutions using a block-based visual programming language, both independently and collaboratively (e.g. pair programming).
  • 3-5.CS.02. Identify, using accurate terminology, simple hardware and software problems and apply strategies for solving these problems (e.g. rebooting the device, checking the power, access to the network, read error messages, discuss problems with peers and adults).
  • 6-8.AP.02. Compare different algorithms that may be used to solve the same problem by time and space efficiency.
Erika D. Liebel from PCS Edventures

Erika D. Liebel

As a former PCS Lab student, Erika is thrilled to be part of the team at PCS Edventures as a curriculum developer and coordinator. Erika received her bachelor’s degree from Linfield College, a master's from Middlebury College and pursued post-graduate studies at Cornell University and Northwest Nazarene University, with her graduate studies focusing on Second Language Acquisition, Curriculum Design and Educational Technology. Erika has worked in Bilingual Education in Spain and the United States, always incorporating STEAM-based strategies into her classroom.

Erika’s STEAM experiences are extensive, developing AR/VR curriculum for Blocksmith Inc and Google for Education, serving as president of the Idaho Association of Teachers of Language and Culture, and assisting the Idaho Virtual Reality Council and the Idaho STEM Action Center in the creation of the VR4Ed grant to bring virtual reality technology to rural school districts. In 2018, Erika was voted "Best in the Wood River Valley: Top Educator." As Curriculum Coordinator, Erika looks forward to bringing a collaborative spirit to colleagues, clients and curricula through her unique perspective of STEAM education.

For this reason, Erika thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to develop Drone Designers with such a collaborative approach with the team at PCS Edventures and many expert contributors. Another highlight of the development process was heading back into the classroom to pilot these lessons at Wood River Middle School, where Erika previously taught. Erika loved seeing the program come alive with co-teacher, Melanie Schrader, and the 7th-grade students.

From all involved in the Drone Designers program, it’s our greatest wish that educators and students feel well supported with these scaffolded, methodically designed and tested lessons so that they may feel empowered to contribute to the ever-evolving field of drone technology.


Marisa Vickery from DroneBlocks

Marisa Vickery

Marisa Vickery is a veteran educator and the CEO of DroneBlocks. She was honored as the Texas Computer Education Association’s (TCEA) 2017 High Impact Teacher of the Year and the Texas Trailblazer of the Year in 2015 by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. She has presented at conferences and events including the South by Southwest Education Conference and Festival (SXSWedu), the International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) global EdTech conference, the World Maker Faire in New York, the Texas Computer Education Association’s (TCEA) state conference and the National Scout Jamboree. Marisa serves as a Champion Board Member for the Texas Girls Collaborative Project and enjoys traveling to provide STEAM and Drone Education training to children and educators across the world.

Marisa assisted with initial research and the review of the Drone Designers curriculum. Marisa’s wealth of experience with DroneBlocks curriculum development and logistical testing with students was essential in the early conception of the program. PCS Edventures greatly appreciates Marisa contributing her expertise to Drone Designers.

Jeff M. Poulin from Creative Generation

Jeff M. Poulin

Jeff M. Poulin is the founder of Creative Generation, working to inspire, connect and amplify the work of organizations and individuals committed to cultivating the creative capacities of young people. As a recognized leader at the non-profit organization, Americans for the Arts, he advanced local, state and federal policies supportive of equitable access to arts learning throughout the U.S. A seasoned educator, Jeff teaches at several universities and trains 10,000+ people annually around the globe. Jeff is a tap dancer by trade and continues to mentor young dancers in the U.S. and in the U.K.

PCS Edventures appreciates Jeff’s contributions to the Drone Designers program, especially given his experience as the former Arts Education Program Manager for the Americans for the Arts. Jeff managed the organization’s role in the development of the National Core Arts Standards. During the development of the Drone Designers program, Jeff was able to work with Erika early on to ensure that daily lessons were aligned with the National Core Arts Standards (NCAS), as part of the PCS Edventures effort to create truly balanced programs to advance STEAM education. Additionally, with Jeff’s extensive background in dance, he was able to provide lesson extensions for educators interested in pursuing a more in-depth focus on choreography throughout.

Katelyn Foley from Sun Valley Museum of Art

Katelyn Foley

Katelyn Foley, the Director of Education and Humanities at the Sun Valley Museum of Art (SVMoA), is a certified educator, art historian and expert in collaborating with classroom teachers across the disciplines to bring value to the “A” for “Arts” in STEAM. Under Katelyn’s leadership, the museum has developed innovative curricula to skillfully integrate the arts into classes traditionally excluded such as the Sciences, Math and Social Studies. Within the Blaine County School District in the Sun Valley area of Idaho, Katelyn and her educational outreach team design projects that align with Common Core objectives to meet the needs of teachers and students to interpret information in new ways. Now after receiving a prestigious national grant through the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, the Sun Valley Museum of Art has additional funding to bring their valuable approach to STEAM to a wider, national audience through their new online resource hub. See links within the Drone Designers program for step-by-step videos that complement lessons on paper manipulation for drone costume design.

PCS Edventures is grateful to Katelyn for playing a key role throughout the development of the Drone Designers program. Initially serving as a reviewer of daily lessons and consultant on arts standards, paper manipulation techniques and best practices, Katelyn later participated in the co-teaching of the lessons with students at Wood River Middle School. Erika greatly appreciated Katelyn being on hand as another expert for students to interact with and receive mentorship from, especially when interpreting music into artistic expression. Thank you, Katelyn, for your enthusiasm, creativity and expertise.

Melanie Bemis Schrader from Wood River Middle School

Melanie Bemis Schrader

Melanie is the Gifted and Talented Facilitator and Leadership Educator at Wood River Middle School in Hailey, Idaho. With a strong background in the sciences, she has also taught Life Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Microbiology. As an educator, Melanie’s goals have always been to empower her students with the necessary skills and self-knowledge to achieve their goals for life. For this reason, Melanie promotes project management, 21st Century Learning Skills and talent development among all students. Melanie is a proponent of project-based learning with real-life applications and STEAM career exploration through participation in national competitive programs such as Future City. As Melanie frequently brings in local experts from the community to mentor students on their projects, the Drone Designers pilot program fits right in with her innovative teaching approach.

As the collaborating teacher involved with Drone Designers, Melanie played an essential role in the program to test lesson logistics, co-teach sessions and offer detailed feedback each day. Melanie assisted Erika in ensuring that production team roles were fully developed in each lesson and enhanced approaches to teaching more advanced coding skills like flying to point. PCS Edventures appreciates Melanie’s ability to promote the taking of academic risks with a growth mindset among her students. Her love and appreciation of both the Arts and Sciences are admirable.

Lea Pereyre from Verity Studios

Léa Pereyre

Erika loved researching the magic of Verity Studios, the intriguing production team members behind the scenes and the opportunity to learn from these innovative figures. Little did Erika know that she would have the opportunity to actually interact with one of these people she so admired. Erika and PCS Edventures greatly appreciate Léa Pereyre, the world’s first drone costume designer, for being so willing to share how she has developed this new field of design. Léa corresponded with Erika throughout the development of the program and offered crucial feedback so that daily lessons highlight the fundamental skills for developing a drone performance. The team at PCS Edventures hopes that educators and students alike will embrace Léa as a positive female role model breaking new ground in drone technology as applied to the arts and entertainment.

Wood River Middle School 7th Grade Leadership Students

PCS Edventures and Erika Liebel are especially thankful to the Wood River Middle School students for their contributions to the Drone Designers program! These 7th Grade Leadership students demonstrated a willingness to take academic risks and apply their skills and talents in new ways. Students offered valuable feedback on lessons and content. Students decided on their own to take on the most logistically challenging track of the Drone Designers curriculum, and surpassed expectations. Learners demonstrated sincere support for one another, innovative applications of program concepts and pure joy in learning and creating!

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