## STEM Activity: Drones

Ask questions about projects relating to: aerodynamics or hydrodynamics, astronomy, chemistry, electricity, electronics, physics, or engineering

immy001
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:55 am
Occupation: Parent

### STEM Activity: Drones

Hi, we wanna make a project about drones and mathematics - to examine the physics of flight and the mathematics of machines that fly. the project will consist of two components: flight planning and drone operation. In the flight planning phase, students chart a path for their aircraft with the addition of wind resistance and direction. In the second component, students are able to operate quadcopters and are challenged to traverse an obstacle course. What do you think about this idea, maybe you had something similar?

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Last edited by immy001 on Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
dcnick96
Former Expert
Posts: 533
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:59 pm

### Re: STEM Activity: Drones

I think this is a fantastic idea. Drones are so popular these days, so hopefully that will peak your students' interest. Learning physics is always better when it is tied to something you find interesting!

I like that you are including wind resistance and direction. If the students fly the drone in a straight line in different directions of the wind, they can learn why the same flight path flying east to west (say Atlanta to Los Angeles) can take an hour longer than flying west to east (Los Angeles to Atlanta). Have them fly the drone in a "cross wind" (perpendicular to the wind direction). If they fly a straight line long enough, perhaps they will experience "crab legging". Do they know that the wind will push their drone off course? Have them try to fly to a point straight ahead and see if the wind pushes them off course. Certainly something you have to consider when flight planning longer flights, especially during the landing phase.

I hope you and your students have a great time with this. Good luck!
Deana
immy001
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:55 am
Occupation: Parent

### Re: STEM Activity: Drones

dcnick96 wrote:I think this is a fantastic idea. Drones are so popular these days, so hopefully that will peak your students' interest. Learning physics is always better when it is tied to something you find interesting!

I like that you are including wind resistance and direction. If the students fly the drone in a straight line in different directions of the wind, they can learn why the same flight path flying east to west (say Atlanta to Los Angeles) can take an hour longer than flying west to east (Los Angeles to Atlanta). Have them fly the drone in a "cross wind" (perpendicular to the wind direction). If they fly a straight line long enough, perhaps they will experience "crab legging". Do they know that the wind will push their drone off course? Have them try to fly to a point straight ahead and see if the wind pushes them off course. Certainly something you have to consider when flight planning longer flights, especially during the landing phase.