Bree-Anna Chain puts her coding to the test.
Bree-Anna Chain puts her coding to the test. David Nielsen

Why Ipswich students are flying drones at schools

BREMER State High School's high-achieving teens have ditched the pad and pencil for something a little more up in the air.

As part of an effort to help the next generation adapt to rapid advances in technology, the school has adopted a new slant on computer coding for five students aged 12-14.

Bremer Year 7 Dean, Ryan du Toit, said the unique Drone Demonstration Team program allowed children the opportunity to develop coding to control the synchronised flight of multiple drone aircraft.

 

FLYING HIGH: Bremer State High students Paityn Vidler (left) and Bree-Anna Chain are taking part in a computer coding drone project.
FLYING HIGH: Bremer State High students Paityn Vidler (left) and Bree-Anna Chain are taking part in a computer coding drone project. David Nielsen

"We are flying synchronised drones around and choreographing movements to music," Mr du Toit said.

"We are the only school that has unified both coding and drones to promote higher order thinking for high achieving students.

"We've had the metropolitan regional expert concur that we are unique in this program."

Year 8 student Paityn Vidler is one of the students using Javascript to create the codes that direct the drone dance.

She said despite not having any prior experience in coding, students had taken to it like ducks to water.

"It was all new, but after we did it for three weeks and got used to the routine of where to put the coding, it came more naturally," she said.

"It was really exciting the first time we saw the drones fly because we'd spent four weeks putting the coding together."

Students will work towards the creation of a three-minute drone dance performance towards the end of the year.

Mr du Toit said the program was a great example of how students could be engaged in the type of learning that will prepare them for the great unknown that is the technological workplaces of the future.

The course allows them to pursue self-directed learning pathways and specialise in their own particular areas of interest.

"These kids are fantastic STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) examples and these classes not only engage students, but move their learning to problem solving and thereby using higher order thinking skills, readying them for their unknown future technological workplaces where analysis, evaluation and synthesis are the demanded skills," he said.

"It's far ahead of the old model of building knowledge and applying it."



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