#DronesinEd – remotely piloted aircraft in the non-STEM curriculum

Is there a place for drones in the non-STEM curriculum?

While drones are a great way to develop students’ technical skills they also have a place within non-STEM subjects. I particularly like the idea of using drones for kinesthetic mapping in social studies (hat tip Heather Wolpert-Gawron). That said, the current CASA guidelines stipulate that drones should not be flown closer than thirty metres to buildings or at all over populous areas such as sport ovals. This means that for most schools in Australia, the use of any kind of drone apart from a small indoor drone is still illegal.

How about drone footage?

Drone footage is readily available on YouTube and can be used to help students in both STEM and non-STEM subjects visualize events and concepts which may otherwise seem abstract to them.

But kinesthetic mapping with drones is such a cool idea!

I am preparing an activity at the moment which involves kinesthetic mapping and I have found My Maps and BYOD mobile devices to be an excellent ‘drone substitute’ in this instance – in fact they actually better suit the learning objectives of this particular activity.  Here is my first draft – comments (either on the blog or directly in the Google Doc) are welcome.

  • Angela Moore
    January 5, 2017

    Benita this is fantastic! My unit of work for assessment 1 was specifically to do with the Freedom Rides and the denial of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples civil rights. One of my resources was an interactive map already developed through the Indigenous rights website that students could access with BYOD. I hadn’t considered the possibility that students could create these themselves, collaboratively and with drones! Very exciting. I am about to start my curriculum subjects next session so have been bluffing my way through BOSTES and ACARA, doing my best to hypothesize strategies without any real expertise. Your lesson plan helps my understanding to fall into place, and I have bookmarked this page for future inspiration. Thank you, thank you!



    • Benita Rowe
      January 5, 2017

      Hi Angela, thanks for the lovely comment and the link to the interactive map – I hadn’t seen that! I just changed the permissions on the Google Doc from commenting to editing so please feel free to make a copy of the lesson plan in your Google Drive and edit/adapt/use/share as you wish. I wonder if we could get everyone (or at least some) on board if we made a folder in Google Drive to share lesson plans and activities, categorized in subjects (like this) after the assessments are completed? It would be a great resource stash and we would collectively save ourselves hours…
      Thank you for your feedback and for taking time to comment, much appreciated! :-).

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