The Importance of Geography in STEM Education

Natalie Meiklejohn
Natalie Meiklejohn
16 Apr 2024
rocky seascape

The She Maps team have a publication in this edition of Drones – the international open-access journal focused on the design and application of drone technology!

Improving STEM with Geography and Drones

Our paper, Using Minidrones to Teach Geospatial Technology Fundamentals, explores the growing importance of incorporating drones into the STEM curriculum. It also presents common barriers faced by teachers and our step-by-step framework for introducing drones into student learning.

But here’s our little secret – it’s not about the drone! Sure, drones are fun to fly and super engaging, but we’re looking beyond that. We see drones as an opportunity to think more broadly about using technology to solve sophisticated challenges and build industry-standard skills.

Geography: STEM is the Future

Did you know that geoscience has been identified as one of the three most important emerging and evolving industries, alongside nanotechnology and biotechnology? With the ever-increasing availability of data from both satellites and drones, spatial thinking is an essential skill for the future workforce.

Despite this growing demand for geoscience and spatial thinking, geography is often excluded from conversations about STEM. But here at She Maps, we know that science, technology, engineering, maths (or any other subjects for that matter) don’t operate as separate entities in the real world. They are interconnected and intertwined, and what’s more important than any label is the ability to think creatively to solve problems.

Drones are a fantastic tool to promote cross-curriculum learning opportunities especially in Geography.

These opportunities will equip students for work in the 21st century, where interdisciplinary skills will become increasingly required to address societal challenges. This is why we advocate for drone education.

Effective Drone Programs for Your Geospatial Workforce

We love teaching our drone program in schools, but we can’t be everywhere at once!

This is why we’ve published this paper, to support and encourage teacher, educators, industry professional, and community members to run the programs themselves!

We know our method works. To date, we have used this framework to run over 420 programs with over 8000 participants in schools and community groups across Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Indonesia.

We’ve also trained local volunteers based in Nepal, India, Tanzania, Panama, Fiji, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, United States, Philippines, Mongolia, and Uganda as community-based instructors, who have gone on to apply the learning framework with their own students.

The rise of drones has captured the attention and imagination of scientists around the world. It has also allowed us to put geospatial technology in the hands of students of all ages with a fun ‘toy’ as a learning support tool.

We have used these mini-drones to create a real-world, hands on STEM geography program to teach geospatial technology fundamentals with a problem-based learning approach.

Through helping students to experience geospatial and drone technology in such a fun and interactive program, we hope to encourage a new wave of innovative geospatial scientists in the future workforce.

Want to check out our resources for free? Dowload our Forestry resources to get a better idea of what we offer.

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.

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 one of our team members to get some personalised recommendations.
In this article:
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Stay up to date

    Subscribe by email and never miss a blog post or announcement.

    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

    Try before you buy

    Take our resources for a spin and join the thousands of teachers who love our ready-to-teach classroom materials. Try one of our complete units of work for free.

    drones in forestry yr 5 6
    drones in forestry yr 9 10