As the drone industry evolves, the benefits of drones for schools become apparent. For students, they provide an interesting and fun access point to education about all kinds of things, from weather patterns to programming. For the industry, putting drones in schools gets the next generation workforce interested in joining the field.
Getting drones into the hands of educators is a challenge – but only the first challenge in integrating drones successfully into STEAM education programs. Educators are working harder than ever now, and they need more than hardware and software to make a drone program work. In addition to drones and curriculum, educators need training, support, and a place to ask questions.
The North Carolina Educators UAS Cohort (NCEUASC) is a model that really works. NCEUASC is a partnership between the North Carolina Business Committee for Education, a business-led, education non-profit; the North Carolina DOT; Nine Ten Drones; STEMERALD City; and now, as a proud media partner, DRONELIFE.
The Cohort has provided all members with a Tello EDU fly more kit, and a one year membership to drone curriculum provider DroneBlocks. Now, the Cohort provides educators with the support and training that they need to utilize those tools effectively – and make the most of adding drones to their STEAM curriculum. UAS Industry Expert Paul Rossi and Jeff Epps, Master STEAM Coach, connect with more than 60 educators across NC every month via live virtual meetings, recorded explainer videos and one-on-one sessions to support the adoption of drones as a tool in education. “The NCEUASC is committed to supporting the educators of North Carolina integrate drones as educational tool into the elementary, middle and high school classrooms across the state,” says Rossi.
In May, the NCEUASC will be hosting a virtual competition for North Carolina students. Cohort members will coach teams of 4 students between now and May to prepare them to compete in a fun and educational contest – one that prepares the next generation workforce of North Carolina to help the drone industry grow.
Getting drones into the hands of educators is important. Providing them with the support and training they need is equally important for the success of drone programs in schools. The North Carolina Educators UAS Cohort is a model that works, supporting teachers and students.