STEM Article – The Drone Build

MathU encourages STEM learning with drone build

A step-by-step tutorial on how to build a MathU-inspired Quadcopter drone

MathU Teaching Emporium recently unveiled its first STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) drone-building project (called uDrone) to help encourage students to explore careers in mathematics and physical science.

This innovative project forms part of MathU’s STEM drive campaign, where participants can systematically assemble their drone-build over several weeks.

Learners can design different components using CAD (computer-aided design) and submit their prototypes to the MathU 3D-printing laboratory, where a team using 3D printers grow and return the finished parts.

As a result, this learning process will help develop their understanding of physics and aerodynamics through concepts like friction, lift, weight, thrust, drag, and stall – elements crucial to flight.

“We aim to encapsulate and to grow the love for STEM-related projects by allowing learners as young as Gr 8 to participate in this exciting project,” said WA Burger, CEO and Founder of MathU Teaching Emporium.

Why STEM education?

STEM education has become increasingly important to our economy. STEM occupations are expected to grow 8.8% by 2028, with healthcare occupations (which typically requires a strong STEM background) expected to grow even faster.

Furthermore, STEM-related careers are more likely to pay well. According to the United States Department of Labor, STEM workers earned an average of $86,882 (R1.3 million) across a variety of industries in 2019.

Nevertheless, STEM education is also beneficial to students who do not want to pursue STEM careers. The focus on logical thought processes and problem-solving allow students to develop mental habits that will help them succeed in any field.

STEM coursework challenges students to think critically and come up with their solutions, which means that students who receive a quality STEM education are primed to become the next generation of innovators.

Subsequently, hands-on projects are common in STEM courses, especially in technology and engineering. Projects like building a simple robot, engine, or computer program usually involve a series of steps that take several days to complete.

This teaches students how to manage their time and divide larger assignments down into smaller pieces, a skill that will serve them throughout their professional careers.

Still, the current pandemic has only reinforced the importance of technology. With more people turning to Zoom, Slack, and other tools to connect with family members and co-workers, it’s even more important to equip students to use and develop technology.

Even after the pandemic is over, many people and workplaces will retain some of their new technology habits. Therefore, it is important to build a strong STEM foundation that will set students up for success in the future.