Are you a school STEM or robotics instructor and want to know if its time for your program to invest in quadcopters aerial robots? Then this blog is for you; our observations from three years of training both students and educators.
OnPoynt’s original goal was to develop an aerial robotics training approach that was safe, hands-on and challenging. Through our OnPoynt Build & Fly program we worked directly with students from ages 10 to 18 via Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, Sci Tech Discovery Center, DISD STEM Day and we shared our approach and expertise with the UT Dallas Quadcopter camp. Here is what we learned:
- The shorter aerial robotics trainings, essentially “crash courses” in building and flying and basic concepts range from 2 to 16 hours and prove fun and challenging.
- The longer classroom units/camp allow students to use the quadcopter in STEM- based scenarios to gather information through remote sensing and make real-time decisions. Lewisville Independent School District, one of our education clients, offered a week- long summer camp using OnPoynt equipment and aerial robotics approach.
- Specific areas of classroom focus such as 3D printing are easily integrated with aerial robotics. For example Irving High School Aviation used the OnPoynt quadcopters in an engineering design class, examining how to develop safety features.
OnPoynt now offers OnPoynt Educator Training supplying teachers quadcopters aerial robots, additional equipment, methodology and hand-on training. This summer, several STEM camps attended OnPoynt Educator training in the spring then offering Quadcopter camps throughout the country:
Maryland: Club Scientific Chesapeake
Georgia: Club Scientific Atlanta
North Carolina: Discover Technology
Idaho: Discover Technology
For what ages are quadcopters appropriate?
- Ages 10-14 work quickly to build and don’t always slow down to ask questions.
- Ages 14 -18 take longer and explore more concepts.
- Girls and younger students are actually more agile builders – small fingertips help in assembly.
- All ages are able to fly the aircraft systems much more easily than expected –some adults usually initially think it may be difficult.
Is there enough material for a weeklong summer camp or aerial robotics – specific classroom unit?
Absolutely, in addition to building and flying the quadcopters, students have a variety of concepts to explore in-depth such as: the growing Unmanned System industry, contributing technologies; flight safety, skills, principles and regulation, engineering design, remote sensing, robotics, variety of sensors and 3D printing.
What is the best equipment?
A small, take-home quadcopter is where the concept starts for most camps but this size lacks many critical features – adding or adapting for quadcopter for additional sensors, assembly (they are prepackaged) and minis can break and are un-repairable.
As well, some larger aerial system that cannot be repaired or built and rebuilt which defeats a primary component of robotics training – understanding the robot platform in a hands-on way.
OnPoynt has adapted a larger size quadcopter with special sturdy features and packaging in an Educators kit. These quadcopters can be repaired ( as crashing is part of learning) as well as built, taken apart and rebuilt repeatedly.
As an educator, what should be considered when selecting a Quadcopter provider?
OnPoynt offers hands-on aviation – oriented educator training, durable quadcopters and support equipment, and the ability to customize curriculum. When your program examines OnPoynt and compares us –there is no other education provider with durable classroom-equipment, educator training and curriculum support.
If you are an educator interested in knowing more, please contact OnPoynt at 214-385-4457 or firstname.lastname@example.org