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Designing Drones for Disasters

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Listen and learn : Lecture

Dr. Kenneth Berry  
Drones are fun, innovative and inspiring teaching tools, and are rapidly finding their way into our lives. Learn about the growing need for drone engineers, pilots and programmers, and how more and more teachers are using drones to prepare students for the economy of the future.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Principals/head teachers, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Topic: Emergent technologies
Grade level: 9-12
Subject area: Career and technical education, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Pursue professional interests by creating and actively participating in local and global learning networks.
For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
  • Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

We will present on how to successfully use drones to teach academic content in an exciting new way using the theme of disaster response and recovery. Students are fascinated by drones. We will demonstrate how teachers can harness that fascination to teach a number of physics, mathematics, and computer science concepts in their classrooms. While the students are learning this academic content they are also learning the design process, project management and teamwork. Drones offer an exciting and innovative way to connect students to learning. Attendees will not only learn about fun ways to use drones in the classroom, but also learn how to connect to other educators around the country and world who have the same interest.


What are Drones?
Where and how are they finding their way into our lives?
How can we use drones in the classroom safely?
What are the regulations around drone use?
What concepts can be taught with drones?
What types of drones are available?
Programming and drones
The Disaster Scenario in curriculum and as a competition
How can you connect to the Drone Education Community?

Supporting research

Chris Carnahan, Laura Zieger & Kimberly Crowley. Drones in Education.

FAA Regulations for Educators regarding the use of drones:

Joseph S. Krajcik. Project-Based Instruction

More [+]


Dr. Kenneth Berry, Southern Methodist University

Dr. Kenneth Berry is a research professor at Southern Methodist University in the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education. He has created curriculum around a number of innovative projects including robots, weather balloons, rockets, drones and computers. He has served as the PI on several state and national grant projects including an NSF CSforAll:RPP, and a Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Project around drone research. He has presented at over 100 conferences on robotics, project-based learning, capstone curriculum, research practitioner partnerships and professional learning communities. He has hosted conferences on Drones in the Classroom, and Robots in Education.

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