How to Rate Drone Camp Experience A Parents’ Checklist
- Safety: Students should be flying safely, following the Know Before You Fly-(link) rules. Drones should not be flown near people or property. Look for use of a flight line, safety vests and spotters. A good ratio is four to six students per instructor.
- Professional Approach: Drones are aircraft first and robotics tools second; tools, not toys. Understanding the rules drones must operate under (maximum height, The FAA and what they do) help reinforce the “tools not toys” maxim.
- Hands-on learning; Your student should be getting flight time with an instructor. Flying should be focus on skills building, achieving a task, and collecting information with the drone. Learning what makes a drone work and fly is where they can really understand the underlying technology and its applications. If they get to build and fly they get a fuller picture and learn more.STEM-Technology: A drone needs to have sensor to perform a function, that makes it a tool, not a toy. Does the camp equipment include sensors or cameras) and STEM scenarios for the student to use drone to make a real-world decision?
- Innovation: Look for an aspect of innovation in the camp; coding, designing parts for the drone, 3D printing or a skills challenge surrounding environmental, emergency or rescue exercise.
- Flying Skill: This is where students need to increase flying skill in a controlled environment-not just take the drone straight up – the camp should use an obstacle course or offer a series of challenges (fly to a point and perform a task) to make for controlled fun.
- Fun: The more fun they have while learning the more impact the camp and its contents will have on them. Fun is the key to learning, look for hands on experiences and fewer traditional instructional sessions.