Supporting STEM with Quadcopters

Supporting STEM with QuadcoptersGeorge Wheeler at Highline CHOICE Academy makes science COOL! He submitted an excel grant application last fall because he wanted to purchase Quadcopter kits for his students. He explained: “Quadcopters are innovative, remotely controlled rotor-wing aircraft that utilize 4 propellers and electric motors, a processing unit, wireless connectivity and gyro-stabilization to perform a variety of unique flight functions. This activity will provide students with the opportunity to develop transferable skills that will support many occupational pathways and will encourage excitement for STEM careers.

In today’s global workforce, students must have a firm understanding of the principles that drive computer technology, research and development. This project will help create that foundation by introducing these crucial STEM skills in a way that is interesting and engaging to students.”

Supporting STEM with QuadcoptersHow’d it work out? The quadcopters were a huge hit! Through hands-on kinesthetic work, students built, soldered and programmed small quadcopter drones. Students cooperated with their peers, learned good soldering techniques and developed essential STEM skills. Building quadcopters allowed students to explore the fundamentals of aerodynamics (roll, pitch, yaw, and acceleration), physics, engineering, wireless technology, computer applications, and electronics.

This grant really made a positive impact in my classroom. Students were genuinely excited about coming to class knowing they would be working on the quadcopters. The quadcopters came completely disassembled and were composed of many parts and pieces. Students took great delight in assembling the quadcopters, soldiering wires, checking electrical connections, and ultimately getting the craft ready to fly.

There was a “buzz” of excitement in the classroom as my students worked together to solve problems and celebrate successes. Most students had little or no experience soldering and really enjoyed developing a new skill. This project allowed students to learn STEM concepts, make some mistakes along the way and learn from them. I really appreciate being offered the grant this year. My students enjoyed the excitement of creating a working, complex flying machine.

Raise your hand if stories like this make you want to go back to High School! We have wonderful teachers here in Highline and The Highline Schools Foundation is very proud to be able to help them out with grants for programs like this. How can you help? You can make a donation – Attend an Event – Become a Sponsor – Donate an item or activity to our Oktoberfest Auction – Become a Trustee – Ask your employer of they offer Gift MatchingVolunteer – the list is endless!

Since 1999, the Highline Schools Foundation has been supporting innovation and excellence in Highline Public Schools. Our funding priorities focus on programs to improve academic achievement, supporting college and career readiness, grants to teachers for engaging classroom projects, the arts, athletics, and programs that keep students in school and productive. Highline is a district full of need and opportunity. The Highline Schools Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated to all schools in our district—our goal is to help as many students as possible be successful!

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