Intro to Programming and CIM to include drones in curriculum

Joanna White, Staff Writer

Some of the first known drones dates back to 1849 in Australia when the Australians attempted to fly 200 hot air balloons without pilots. However, human beings have come a long way from unmanned flying balloons.

Bethel is one of the few districts who has drones flying about the halls of their senior high school. The drones were bought with funds from STEAM, and will be incorporated into the curriculum of Intro to Programming and CIM: Computer Integrated Manufacturing:

“Most see [the drones] as recreational but they can be used for more than that,” said Mr. Kszastowski (Mr.K).

The drones are made by Parrot, a company that makes multiple different technical gadgets. There are eight drones in total.

The first four are Airborne Cargo drones. Each of these drones costs roughly $100. The Airborne Cargo drones can fly, and they are able to drop off supplies where people cannot normally reach.  With a lego top, they are able to carry different types of cargo.

The others are MiniDrone Jumping Sumos. These drones can jump up to 31 inches. They cost roughly $130, and they can travel by two large wheels over different surfaces. They can also take live footage, thanks to the built-in camera it comes with.

The drones are fairly easy to operate, as most students can use their iPhones to fly them with the Tickle Flying Drone App. This free app comes with the drone as it too is sponsored by Parrot; however, this app can only be used with Apple products. Students can fly drones in two ways: by using the controls on the screen of the cell phone or by block coding.

Block coding is a form of coding that is pretty easy to use. You can select an action or a series of actions which cause the drone to move in the way you want.

These drones will hopefully “[bring] more interest in coding and programming. [There] are a lot of opportunities for coding in the country. Becoming a coding engineer might not be for everyone, but with this class there is the chance that they could be,” said Mr. Oswald.

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