Increasing Interest and Engagement in Science with Small Unmanned Aerial Systems

Wright, Michael
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In recent years, much attention has been placed on the need for authentic learning opportunities that will effectively prepare our students to be successful in the 21st Century workforce. There has also been tremendous concern about the lack of scientists, engineers, and innovators in the United States. In response to these concerns, an extracurricular program focusing on providing elementary students with hands-on, integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education was established in 2012 at a public school in Hawaii and made available to students from across Oahu. The purpose of this project was to develop an instructional module focusing on the use of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) with the primary objective of increasing the level of interest and engagement in science among younger students. The ARCS-V Model was combined with project-based learning to have students explore and master STEM concepts required to construct a remotely-operated quadcopter by having students produce a different operational product each week to demonstrate their understanding of targeted standards and objectives. Activities and sub-projects integrated into and built upon in this module included rocketry, underwater robotics, electronics, model aircraft, radio communication systems. The results of this project have allowed instructional module to be improved upon by identifying areas in need of further scaffolding, providing a greater understanding of time and material needs, and offering insight into how the module can be implemented in different schools/programs, and with a greater range of students, both in Hawaii and beyond.
This presentation on increasing student interest and engagement in science was given at the 2016 TCC Worldwide Conference. This presentation outlines how small unmanned aerial vehicles ("drones") were used in an extracurricular science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program to increase student interest and engagement in science.
STEM, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, robotics, interest, engagement, sUAS, drone, instructional design, action research
Wright, M.A. (2016, April 21) Increasing Interest and Engagement in Science with Small Unmanned Aerial Systems. PowerPoint was presented at the 21st Annual Technology, Colleges and Community Worldwide Online Conference.
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