A new drone kit designed for schools helps teach 3D printing, coding and robotics to students of all ages.
Five childhood friends from the small Catalan town of Vallbona d’Anoia are hoping to encourage the next generation of engineers. The team are developing a kit that will allow students to design, 3D-print, assemble and each fly their own drone. In doing so, they hope to also empower teachers by helping them develop the practical skills and resources they need. The start-up, BonaDrone, offers an all-in-one package that helps teachers and students bridge the gap between education and technology.
The BonaDrone kit takes students through the weeks-long process of designing, building and flying drones. The company promises that within a day or two, students working with the drone kit will know more than the teacher. The company offers drone kits designed for students of all ages as well as preparation courses for educators. Younger students program the drones using DroneBlocks (a Scratch-based system) while older students can use Python. The kits also include ‘plug & play’ accessories for additional activities, including a stabiliser for attaching cameras, hooks for carrying objects, temperature sensors, and humidity sensors.
There is concern in Europe that not enough young people, especially girls, are studying STEM subjects. In fact, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, an EU agency, has targeted STEM professions as a priority occupation. BonoDrone is hoping their kits will help make technology more accessible to schools with less money. The kits cost around EUR 300 and allow teachers to develop new programs in different STEM areas. The BonoDrone joins a number of other products recently highlighted by Springwise which are designed to help teach STEM subjects more widely. These include electronic blocks that teach programming through play, and low-cost paper microscopes. What other products might help to bring STEM subjects to a wider variety of students?