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STEM - Summer School Opportunity

#1
Hey All, I am transitioning from teaching history to being a full time STEm teacher next year. So far we are doing phone app and video game design, computer science, Windstorms EV3 robotics and an intro to STEM class. My admin has told me that the district is willing to pick up curriculum and materials if I want to teach a summer class. So here's my question, I am looking at picking up the Versacopter Class Starter Kit, but I am totally new to this other than the DJI Phantom 4 they bought for me that I have minimally flown. Will the Versacopter Class Starter Kit and curriculum found in FT's FTSTEM.com sight provide me with all the canned material I need to teach this? What other sorts of tooling do I need for these quadcopters? I teach 6-8 grade. IS building a Versacopter a bit much for them? Sorry for so many questions, but I'm trying to get this done before the district says no and I'm totally green in this area. I really need some canned lessons to teach from. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

If anyone has any other suggestions other than the Versacopters or any other input I would be more than willing to listen.
 
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PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#2
Not in the know too much about STEM but I do have a Versacopter. I think 6-8th grade is a great age to introduce quad copters and all that goes with it. The only two things to hinder it would be maturity of each student as the need for being responsible with the craft is a must and second their hand eye coordination that is needed for the solder work to put it together. Both of which can be easily taught and learned in a short time of a summer course.

I am sure that FT went thru and worked up a highly detailed plan to implement the Versacopter into a school program if it is anything remotely close to their standard attention to details for stock product build videos. I am sure there is probably even a bit more fun built in to keep the kids focused and wanting more.

Hang out a bit as I posted mainly to bump this to the top so it doesn't get lost before some one like Stefan sees it. GL with what ever you decide to do with the class.
 
#3
STEM class

Dear tdailey,

I taught a RC aeronautics STEAM (STEM) class for the first time last year. I personally would recommend getting a bunch of the smaller powerpacks (A & B), batteries, transmitters, receivers, FT Crafty Kit, and DollarTree foamboard. Then go into the "Articles" section of FliteTest.com and download the free plans for the mini sparrow and the three swappable planes (Nutball, Flyer, and Delta).

The sparrows are nice because it can be a throwing glider or a powered airplane. All of those planes I mentioned can be constructed quickly, be a skill builder for the students, and give them the instant gratification that they were able to turn a flat piece of foamboard into something that can fly. What I've found was that once the students realize how simple it was to make a plane, they were going home, making their own designs/modifications, and then bringing them in to share. That is the point when you realize that they've taken ownership of this new knowledge and skill.

One of the issues I ran into was insurance through my school. We were about 3/4 of the way through our school year when my administration informed me that the students couldn't fly their drones (including planes) for insurance reasons. It would take a couple of thousands of dollars for that to be inserted into our school's insurance...which they were not willing to pay. After a lot of going back and forth, the solution was for me to become a member of the AMA for about $85. The students then became members through me (FREE!!!) and the AMA automatically insures me, the students, and school for any injury or property damage due to any form of RC aircraft.

I apologize that this is so late, but hopefully you (and others) may find it helpful.

Sincerely,
Dwight Souder
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#4
I'm gonna report a few of these posts...

These look like a spambot to me.


I volunteered at a local high school. Insurance was an issue until the AMA (yay AMA!!). Definitely join and teach the AMA safety rules.

I donated some full size machines and some toys. Learning on the toys was a safe way to get interest in the larger machines.

I can't stress lipo safety enough. Designate someone who works for the school to handle lipos. Someone getting cut by a nylon prop is something you should prepare for. There is no way to prepare for being the guy who burned down the school. DON'T leave the lipos at the school over the summer.

Use nylon props, not carbon fiber.

The next challenge was soldering. The school taught soldering but used irons that were way too fine tipped to handle things like PDB to battery pigtail connections. I ended up donating a soldering station with adjustable temp and interchangeable tips.

Then the FAA came up with the registration thing and all but 2 kid's parents pulled them out within a week of the news. They didn't want their kids registered with the feds and it all collapsed. Now that the FAA is no longer an issue, we may try again next year.

All in all I found the kids receptive and excited to learn. My biggest challenge was parents' fear of drones and fear of law enforcement engagement with their kids as a result of the drone hobby.
 
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stephenbrian

Posting Elsewhere
#5
A great opportunity for the students who want to avail this. They going to get very much useful information and could also learn some new things as well.