Memorizing facts and figures is important to learning. But it’s only part of the equation.
Just ask the folks at Georgia’s Peachtree Ridge High School, where science teachers use robotics to reinforce learning in math and physics. They know finding real-world applications for classroom learning is key to education.
”I think students need to find relevance in their school work, or they won’t be as interested. They won’t engage in what the teacher is doing,” said Peachtree Ridge physics teacher Michael C.
Michael helps lead the school’s robotic drone project—something Infinite Energy was able to participate in with a $3,200 STEAM grant given out at the beginning of the year. The grants pay for school projects in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. Infinite Energy gave out a total of $48,000 to Georgia’s Gwinnett County schools this year.
“We’re delighted to have gotten this grant,” Michael said, adding that it’s great that the robotic drones purchased this year—miniatures—were able to be used inside the classrooms and hallways. “The students are loving it. They’re enjoying the challenge.”
Performing tasks with the drones, he said, students have to gather data on time and distance. And then they use that information to determine velocity and acceleration. They do this inside with the mini drones, as well as outside with larger drones that can even carry small payloads.
“The drones provide a great avenue for kinematics and the study of motion,” he said. “It’s something that makes the mathematics less tedious for the students.”
The robotics club, where students get to take part in the project, started in 2004, Michael said. It began as a way “to help promote science and technology, as well as team work amongst the student body.
“The use of STEM or STEAM projects is becoming a vital role in our classrooms. With a STEM project, the teacher can take hold of their students and get them interested. These projects give students an opportunity to practice real-world skills and applications of the content they’re learning.”