Teachers learn about drones to inspire students
The University of Guam Drone Corps, in collaboration with Global GreenSTEM and 2cofly, recently held a workshop for local educators to learn about unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology.
The goal was to teach teachers the various applications of drones, so they can help inspire students and make classroom lessons more interesting. The training was held at the Bank of Guam Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UOG on Dec. 2.
During the training, members from the local drone industry discussed how drones are being used in fields such as construction, coastal resource management, and historical preservation.
“We are so honored to play a collaborative role in showing that the drone industry is much broader than what people might expect,” said UOG Drone Corps co-administrator Dr. Romina King. “Drones are a gateway point for so many STEM opportunities, even for those who may not necessarily be interested in piloting drones for research. Whether students are interested in building drones or using them for cinematography, there’s a space for everyone to get involved.”
As part of their training, teachers were asked to develop lesson plans that incorporates drone technology and its STEM-based principles, such as physics and geography, into their classroom curriculum.
“For my middle school students, it’s a point of interest. They don’t like doing ‘work’ but when they see the drones and see that it’s something exciting, then they’ll think not so much of it being work,” said Mercedes Pinto, a middle school teacher at Guåhan Academy Charter School.
Ruth De Lemos-Loyola, a science and health teacher at J.P. Torres Success Academy also sees the technology as a way to stimulate learning.
“I think it would really help my students with their skills – skills in problem-solving, in creativity, critical thinking – just so many of those 21st century skills," De Lemos-Loyola said.
With supervision and guidance from certified operators at 2cofly, a local drone service provider, teachers were able to operate entry-level drones procured by the Guam Department of Education for use in the classroom.
Several teachers performed intermediate maneuvers with their drones such as flips and drone landings on their palms.
It’s the first time the drone training workshop was offered to teachers, but facilitators plan to create a pathway that connects interested students with drone-related jobs and opportunities upon graduation.
Applications for the next batch of students are scheduled to be announced in Spring 2023.
The University of Guam Drone Corps is the institution’s first drone certification and training program for undergraduate and graduate students.
Administered by the NASA Guam EPSCoR and NASA Guam Space Grant programs at the University of Guam, the UOG Drone Corps is focused on increasing education and awareness of drone technology through responsible use.