Many K12 districts now use drones as an educational tool as part of their classroom curriculum, such as computer programming, or in specific courses covering drone technology that prepare students for jobs in industries including engineering, mechanics, aviation, photography, videography,surveying land using geographic information system technology, and agricultural data analysis. Drone technology is being added to the mix of teaching tools that educators are using to help bring STEM to life in their classrooms. While K12 schools are coming to drones from a variety of directions, they are all finding that this technology offers learning opportunities for students that touch on every part of their curriculums.

Anaheim Union High School District is the first public school district in the nation to partner with the Tesla Foundation to provide students with training to successfully work in the emerging technology field of unmanned aviation, or drones. A nonprofit science and technology think tank, the Tesla Foundation is launching its initiative beginning at Magnolia High School with after-school programs featuring Federal Aviation Administration approved curriculum, equipment, and Drone Flight Simulation Kits. The foundation’s goal is to identify and develop a “farm system” of young talent that can be future innovators and entrepreneurs in the unmanned systems industry.

Orange Unified School District hosts an annual iInspire Drone Invitational. The Drone Invitational consists of three events: the Coding Challenge, the Integration Challenge and the Drone Relay. Each school fields a six-member fourth grade team and a six-member combination fifth/sixth grade team. Judges include OUSD Board Members, District staff and representatives from both Apple Inc. and OCDE’s STEM department. Learn more about the event here>>