Institutions are creating more engaging STEM programs by incorporating drone technology into instruction

drone-STEMEducators on campuses across the country are using drone technology to teach STEM disciplines, due in large part to what they say is the technology’s ability to offer a real-world and engaging approach to disciplines such as engineering.

3D Robotics (3DR) on Jan. 29 launched the DroneEDU program that offers free and discounted drone hardware, sponsorships, and classroom support to help students and educators deploy unmanned aerial vehicles as they explore advanced STEM concepts.

Many undergraduate engineering programs use old equipment to teach students concepts such as heat transfer or aerodynamics, and those somewhat irrelevant pieces of equipment don’t keep students engaged in the material as well as modern equipment, said Brandon Basso, VP of software engineering at 3DR. Most programs also require students to design and build their own systems for an entire semester, and updated equipment prompts students to think about design in modern ways.

Next page: What educators say about drone technology in the classroom

Laura Ascione