It's important to understand that STEM is not just about science, technology, engineering and math.
It's about all subject areas. Multidisciplinary studies that include STEM make major impacts on agriculture, emergency services, meteorology, all types of private industries, and more. Given the impact that STEM has in these areas, you see more universities and colleges embracing multidisciplinary studies. Take the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) for example. Their newest building is going to be dedicated in large part to Interdisciplinary Studies, a major that allows students to customize their education across many different subject areas. Students are marrying policy, environment and technology, for example, and are researching and designing solutions to real world problems.
Given this, it important that all students to some degree should be educated in the STEM subject areas.
Several districts and schools are incorporating courses dedicated to STEM. Others are finding way to incorporate STEM into existing coursework. We believe the latter is the most beneficial to students because it lets them start to understand a multidisciplinary approach.
One of the ways that instructors can incorporate STEM is through the introduction of drones. Drones are being utilized across fields of study in new and interesting ways every day. University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business published in article in 2015 that already listed ways drones were being used (http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/news/10-cool-things-drones-already-do). They cited uses in supply chain logistics, wildlife conservation, insurance adjustment, farming, 3-D mapping, meteorology, search and rescue, surveys and videography. And that was two years ago!
Now drones are being used in the collection of forensics, to air drop life vests and other resources in hard to reach places during natural disasters, for surveillance and to locate criminals (for example in a hostage situation), in building construction by scanning as portions are complete, to identify when disease is affecting farmland and when nitrogen levels are low, in thermal imaging to identify poachers of big game in far off places, in airline inspections to quickly get to hard-to-reach spots. And in the future, imagine being able to save lives with the quick delivery of a defibrillator or anti-venom or epinephrine when a person needs it.
Drone technology is just at the beginning of its voyage. Imagine how students today, who understand the value and effectiveness of STEM will impact all industries in the future.
Incorporating Drones in the Primary Education
- Social Studies: Have students participate in kinesthetic mapping
- Language Arts: Illustrate different points of view, up close and far away
- Physical Education: Illustrate different points of view.
- Math: Recreate a “Powers of 10” video.
- Chemistry: Learn about battery chemistry and capacity
- Art: Shoot a school project
- Current Events: Debate the use of drones and privacy