Drone Club: How to run a successful club at your school

Jules Blundell
Jules Blundell
11 Feb 2022
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So you have agreed to run the Drone Club, what now? 

What are Drone Clubs?

Drone clubs are an exciting, creative and future forward program to run as a stand-alone or as part of an existing STEM club. It can seem daunting at first when considering whether you have the competence and the confidence to run a successful club. To help boost your confidence and increase your competence, She Maps have put together a comprehensive pack with everything you need to run a successful Drone Club.

Why Run Drone Groups at Your School?

There are different reasons why schools are implementing drone clubs as part of their extracurricular activities.

  • Running a drone club allows a school to explore and assess a drone program before including them in their curriculum.
  • Drones are increasing in usability and popularity in the industry; students need experience with different kinds of technology.
  • It’s not just about flying drones! How do drones fit into the world and what are the possibilities in the future?
  • Drones are another avenue to developing teamwork, exploring creativity and problem solving
young men and women taking advanced drone programs for schools

Are drones a good fit for your school?

A drone club gives you room to explore what drones are capable of without having a structured curriculum to follow. The success of a drone club depends on organisation and leadership.

A drone club needs a foundation built on safety, respect and understanding.  The first few sessions should be a mix of routine and skill development;  setting up the room for safe flight, running through safety checks and developing skills in manual and coded flight.

Once the expectations have been set, then serious exploration can begin.  A Drone Club Coordinator can decide whether the choice of activities is pre-decided and planned by them, or if it is going to be more member-led.  This all depends on the types of members you have, their age and their sense of responsibility.

A drone club can be run for a term, a semester or even all year, depending on member participation and enthusiasm.

 

boys learning to fly code drone

Types of Drone Club Activities

Providing a variety of activities within your sessions allows a Drone Coordinator to cater for a wider range of members.  Drones are not just about flying.  They are a fabulous tool to use in problem-solving, they create avenues for design and they have provided many conversations about whether they are the way of the future or an invasion of privacy. 

Manual Flight develops an understanding of drone operation and fine motor skills, but it also provides learning moments about dealing with stress.  One of the first tips you might give your members when they first start flying is to remember to relax while the drone is in the air, holding your breath while operating a drone for the first time is very noticeable.

A drone obstacle course is one of the core activities that drone clubs will provide for experiencing manual flight. Our Drone Club Kit helps you consider answers to the following questions: Why are they flying the obstacle course?  Is there an essential item that must be picked up at the other end before returning to the landing spot?  Because drone club is not curriculum structured, activities can develop depending on what the members are exploring.

Block coding with drones can be learnt relatively quickly, but how can you use those skills to gather data, play a game such as hide-and-seek or even create cinematic masterpieces with set drone shots? Again Drone Club allows the coordinator and members to think outside the box;  to simulate real-life events and experiences as well as just have some fun.  

Design activities can involve creating attachments for the microdrones that are being operated and solving problems or creating a drone that can meet a community need today or in the future.  Challenging members to get creative with engineering and design invites different types of students to participate as well.  

drone club obstacle course

Essential Items and Resources

When organising a drone club there are a number of items that need to be sourced.

There are the initial items you need such as microdrones, tablets and safety glasses, but also all the other materials and tools you need to create a smooth-running session.

Have you thought about storage for the drones, the batteries and the tablets? How will you keep all of the drone club materials safe, secure, but easily accessible? Hair ties for members who need to contain their long flowing locks from rogue drones (it does happen).

Where will you hold drone club? Take a look at Can I Fly My Drone Indoors at School? You need a certain amount of space so all members can fly safely. Is there a hall or gym that you can book? Is your STEM maker space appropriate and how many members will you have per session?

What safety precautions are you taking? How do you create an environment where students are safe, responsible and are aware of themselves, the environment around them and the drones. Are you able to define a flight zone and a pilot zone clearly? Do you have safety posters to alert the school community that there are drones in operation? This isn’t just a drone club rule, professional pilots should warn the surrounding community that they are operating a drone.

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Drone Club by She Maps

There are 3 ways to access our Drone Club Kit.

  1. Sign Up to download the free version now.   You will understand what you need to set up a Drone Club, and includes 9 out of the 30 activities.
  2. If you are a She Maps Member already, then you automatically get access to this teaching resource. Simply log into your account.If you don’t have a She Maps Membership, then for just $240AUD,  this annual membership gives you unlimited access to ALL of our amazing teaching resources, providing you with an endless supply of lessons and inspiration. Buy Now!
  3. Purchase the Drone Club Kit for just $69 AUD. It will provide you with everything you need to run a successful drone club. It includes Checklists, Posters and 30 ready-to-teach  activities your students will love!

It is recommended that all participants, both teachers and students, have completed the Classroom Drone Essentials Unit of Work in order to complete the activities involved in Drone Club.  This series of lessons provides all participants with the skills needed to challenge themselves further in Drone Club.  If you are already a She Maps MemberClassroom Drone Essentials is one of the resources for students in Years 5-10.

About She Maps.
She Maps is Australia’s leading expert in drone and geospatial education. She Maps assist schools with the purchasing of drones, school-industry created drone and geospatial teaching resources and highly supportive teacher professional development.
  • FREE eBook – How to start a drone program at your school – Teachers Guide – Download Now
  • Find out more about our programs
  • Take our programs for a spin – purchase a program
  • Become a She Maps Member for just $240/year – More information
  • Free STEM Education Guide – Understanding and Implementing  STEM Programs in your classroom – Read now 
You’re in Safe Hands!
She Maps is a CASA approved commercial operator to fly microdrones indoors with students and teachers. CASA holds commercial operators, to a higher standard than recreational users and educators. This means that She Maps has been assessed by CASA as having rigorous training and risk mitigation procedures in place.
 
Ready to buy drones for your school? We are an authorised DJI reseller in Australia

Want some help?

Schedule a call with Jules to get some personalised recommendations

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    Flying High with Drones at Your School!

    Learn the 6 Steps to Launching a Successful Drone and Geospatial Program at your School

    What’s covered:
    • The educational benefits for running a drone & geospatial program
    • How to gather whole school support for the program
    • How to fund your drone program
    • Matching your school requirements to the best program
    • How to build teacher confidence and capabilities
    • Steps to expand your program with school-industry partnerships