Grade Range
3rd-5th
Active Time
3 hours
Total Time
3 hours
Area of Science
Aerodynamics & Hydrodynamics
Physics
Agricultural Technology
Key Concepts
drones, agriculture, gravity, lift, rotors
Credits
publisher NAC National Agriculture in the Classroom logo

Overview

Drone flying above field with rows of crops and a tractor.

Students will discover the science behind how a drone works, explore how drones are used in agriculture, and program and operate a drone for the purpose of surveying a field.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
  • 3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
  • 3-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
  • 3-PS2-2. Make observations and/or measurements of an object's motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Asking Questions and Defining Problems. Asking questions and defining problems in 3-5 builds on grades K-2 experiences and progresses to specifying qualitative relationships.

Define a simple design problem that can be solved through the development of an object, tool, process, or system and includes several criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost. (3-5-ETS1-1)

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations. Planning and carrying out investigations to answer questions or test solutions to problems in 3-5 builds on K-2 experiences and progresses to include investigations that control variables and provide evidence to support explanations or design solutions.

Plan and conduct an investigation collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence, using fair tests in which variables are controlled and the number of trials considered.

Make observations and/or measurements to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence for an explanation of a phenomenon or test a design solution.

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions. Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 3-5 builds on K-2 experiences and progresses to the use of evidence in constructing explanations that specify variables that describe and predict phenomena and in designing multiple solutions to design problems.

Generate and compare multiple solutions to a problem based on how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the design problem. (3-5-ETS1-2)

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Connections to Nature of Science

Scientific Investigations Use a Variety of Methods. Science investigations use a variety of methods, tools, and techniques.

Science Knowledge is Based on Empirical Evidence. Science findings are based on recognizing patterns.
ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems. Possible solutions to a problem are limited by available materials and resources (constraints). The success of a designed solution is determined by considering the desired features of a solution (criteria). Different proposals for solutions can be compared on the basis of how well each one meets the specified criteria for success or how well each takes the constraints into account. (3-5-ETS1-1)

ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions. Research on a problem should be carried out before beginning to design a solution. Testing a solution involves investigating how well it performs under a range of likely conditions. (3-5-ETS1-2)

At whatever stage, communicating with peers about proposed solutions is an important part of the design process, and shared ideas can lead to improved designs. (3-5-ETS1-2)

Tests are often designed to identify failure points or difficulties, which suggest the elements of the design that need to be improved. (3-5-ETS1-3)

ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution. Different solutions need to be tested in order to determine which of them best solves the problem, given the criteria and the constraints. (3-5-ETS1-3)

PS2.A: Forces and Motion. Each force acts on one particular object and has both strength and a direction. An object at rest typically has multiple forces acting on it, but they add to give zero net force on the object. Forces that do not sum to zero can cause changes in the object's speed or direction of motion. (Boundary: Qualitative and conceptual, but not quantitative addition of forces are used at this level.)

The patterns of an object's motion in various situations can be observed and measured; when that past motion exhibits a regular pattern, future motion can be predicted from it. (Boundary: Technical terms, such as magnitude, velocity, momentum, and vector quantity, are not introduced at this level, but the concept that some quantities need both size and direction to be described is developed.)

PS2.B: Types of Interactions. Objects in contact exert forces on each other.
Influence of Science, Engineering, and Technology on Society and the Natural World. People's needs and wants change over time, as do their demands for new and improved technologies. (3-5-ETS1-1)

Engineers improve existing technologies or develop new ones to increase their benefits, decrease known risks, and meet societal demands. (3-5-ETS1-2)

Cause and Effect. Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified.

Patterns. Patterns of change can be used to make predictions.

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Grade Range
3rd-5th
Active Time
3 hours
Total Time
3 hours
Area of Science
Aerodynamics & Hydrodynamics
Physics
Agricultural Technology
Key Concepts
drones, agriculture, gravity, lift, rotors
Credits
publisher NAC National Agriculture in the Classroom logo
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