While video games might seem paramount in the eyes of most children, there are alternatives to get them away from the television and out into the real world. Drone technology is growing every single year, with consumer UAV purchase growing at the same exponential rate as the commercial sectors. With this in mind, more and more people are finding the joys of using a drone in their own life, and many of these people are younger kids. The more that you can understand about the technology behind these unmanned aerial vehicles and how they can help develop your kids brain development and motor skills, the more likely you are to fully grasp the benefits of a drone for your child to use regularly. Below you will find some of the ways that drones are benefiting children in STEM learning environment, and how flying drones can aid in other developmental ways as well.
What Is STEM Learning?
Many parents might not have ever heard of STEM education, simply because their own local school districts have not adopted the curriculum for interested students. In more developed areas of the country, entire schools have been devoted to this new approach which focuses its attention specifically on four primary areas: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (or STEM). Students who are engaged in this type of curriculum spend most of their time in these four areas, which all regrettably tend to fall short in typical public education scenarios. This can give a child interested in one of these fields a significant head start and foundational knowledge to pursue to the focus of their choosing in the future.
The Importance of Cutting The Cord
When it comes to video games, their role in a child’s life can quickly turn from harmless to controlling. According to an article published in the US National Library of Medicine, excessive video gaming and internet use can be instrumental in thwarting development of necessary social skills required to function normally in society. The problem is, the American Medical Association has no real basis for considering video games or at-risk internet use to be deemed an addiction. Thereby, there is no way of deducing how much is “too much”. The only suitable solution is to find active ways to pull the attention away from the television and to get your children outside in the sunshine.
Understanding How Things Work Together
One of the great benefits of using drones is getting the opportunity to understand how they work. Each piece that makes up the entire structure is critical to the normalcy of flight controls. Nuances in how your child operates the drone will indicate how each part is working in unison to respond to commands. This is why drones play such a critical role in kids STEM programs. As part of the engineering and technology branches, students will be encouraged to not only understand the working components of machines like this, but to better appreciate each function that makes up the machine to replicate it themselves.
Tackling The Troublesome Subject of Math
There are some kids that just naturally excel at Mathematics, but the larger portion of students begin to wane with their understanding as middle school and high school curriculums take effect. This has required teachers to take new approaches in making the information they are teaching more hands-on and easier to understand for students that might be struggling. Drones have become an instrumental part of this new teaching method, according to an eLearning Industry article. In this piece, it describes how operating UAVs to literally work math problems, work through proportions, and similar scenarios actually better cements the process of working the problem naturally to students. Not to mention, it is just entertaining to get to fly drones in a math class.
Improvement of Cognitive Skills
Cognitive development is something that educators and parents have been actively trying to advance in children for generations. While there are always new approaches and new equipment geared towards helping children work through problems and gauge the environment they are in, drones have played a very active role in combining many of these skill sets together for kids. While it has already been described how drones are helping children to better retain more complex math and other applied fields of the STEM learning approach, the machines are also crucial in helping to problem solve, focus, and change their flights in real time to changing conditions in the environment they are in. This provides an active awareness of the space they are in, as well as makes them more cognizant of the changes to the environment and the affect it can have on their own actions in controlling the drone in the air.
More Comprehensive Hand-Eye Coordination Development
Video games might have always been deemed a great source for learning hand-eye coordination as children grew and developed, but this is often not as universal as once believed. In many ways, drones have far exceeded this predecessor in terms of development of this key function according to the Encyclopedia of Children’s Health. It is believed that with the near constant response that a pilot will need to provide the drone while it is in flight employs every faction of this critical development in the brain to fire neurons and send signals faster and faster with more experience gained by a pilot. When coupled with the understanding that many games these days have taken to less timed events that spark hand eye coordination and have reduced these challenges for broader audiences, these avenues of entertainment are less brain healthy than ever before.
Encouraging Your Child Into Coding and Advanced Sciences
One of the focal points of many STEM programs throughout the country isn’t just getting children involved with using drones and developing their brains as a result. In most of these programs, classes will exist that will strip a drone down to its most basic parts and teach your child to design their own from the ground up. This process has been instrumental in pushing children towards fields like coding and engineering, as this inspires them to use their imaginations and also to be focused on how each component will affect the eventual flights of the machine. Tynker (a site dedicated to teaching children coding) has built programs that are designed to help educators in these STEM schools and programs to apply the foundational knowledge their children have towards creating their own drones and programming flight patterns to be completely free of physical controllers.
Choosing The Right Drone For Your Child
According to a report from Drone Omega, those involved with STEM schools and programs at their public school should consider only certain types of drones for their studies. If you are required to finance your own drone for the projects, which is not out of the realm of possibility, it is advisable to go with a moderately sized quad-copter. The design is much more durable than some of the other options out there, and the moderate size makes it easier to control for those that are a little less experienced as a pilot. To discover the latest drones best suited to kids, check out our best drones for kids and young flyers guide.
You might have been led to the understanding that drones were a little too complicated for your child, or that there was no real practical reason that they should have them. When you can appreciate the benefits of not only how drone flying can increase valuable assets to your child’s development, but also the damaging effects of video games over extended periods of time, you can appreciate just how valuable UAVs are for your child to have. STEM learning is still relatively new in terms of curriculum in schools.