North Dakota educators using drones to enhance classroom learning

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 3:07 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Educators from all around the state met this week to learn about drones. The North Dakota Geographic Alliance partnered with Bismarck State College to help make drones accessible in classrooms for students K-12.

These drones weigh under half a pound, so they don’t need to be registered or certified when being used.

“You know it’s a way to give hands-on flying experience, but also learn about the rules, regulations, and policies. There’s so much people don’t know about when they can use them, how they use them, and different features . It’s only going to be a growing career,” said Mandan High School technology and engineering instructor Brandon Lemer.

There are 19 educators descended on Papa’s Pumpkin Patch to learn how to use these drones in their classrooms.

Each educator had to submit a proposal about what they would do with the drone to enhance learning opportunities.

“Now the teachers are really going to work with their students in a partnership capacity to really see where this goes cause kids are so creative, and the teachers will have an idea of where this has to go, and they’re going to work with their students come up with the best ideas,” said Angie Milakovic, a BSC Associate Professor.

Angie Milakovic got the grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. One goal is for drones to help educators observe soil health in their communities and create lesson plans to share with each other.

“Yeah, I was just talking to another teacher who teaches elementary, and we thought just flying over some of the fields in the rural areas and identifying corn, sugar beets, sunflowers from the air, would be a neat little introduction to the drone capabilities,” said Wahpeton High School social studies teacher Larry Lasch.

The drones have many more capabilities beyond science. They can be used for safety surveillance around schools, when there could be danger outside, or seeing environmental health from a different perspective.

The program was launched in 2020 and runs four years. Next year when more teachers plan to join up, and share their findings with each other.

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