Students learn basic maneuvers with a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or "drone"), flying forward and backward, left and right. Next, students fly the UAV to a (slightly) distant target and attempt to land in a designated area.
We recommend that students complete the Learn to Fly! UAV Flight School activity and the Learn to Fly! UAV First Flight activity as prerequisites to this activity. In UAV Flight School, students learn basic aviation terminology and UAV controls. In UAV First Flight, students learn how to take off, hover and land a UAV and practice safe flying procedures.
This activity was created by Randy Russell of the UCAR Center for Science Education as part of Engineering Experiences, a National Science Foundation-funded ITEST project (Award #1513102) with the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL). Engineering Experiences is designed to introduce and engage middle-school students to engineering during out-of-school time, and foster long-term interest and pathways into the field. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this activity are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
This activity is best suited for students in middle school or high school. Some upper elementary students are probably capable of conducting this activity as well.