By Preston Frazier / January 27, 2021

Flying into 2021: Drone curriculum offerings

Hello, all! Even though 2020 is long behind us (hallelujah!) and the first month of 2021 is ending (How did that happen?), it’s still good to reflect on some of the positives of the last year. Maybe you learned a new skill with all the time you had at home. Maybe you embraced the increased family time and realized how important that really is in the grand scheme of things. Looking back, I know there were some good things to come out of that different, weird, and crazy year.

One positive here at Pitsco is that we were able to introduce some new and exciting curriculum options, especially around an emerging technology: drones.

We’ve all heard about drones and how they are becoming more and more prevalent in our lives.

  • HVAC companies are using drones to inspect hard-to-reach places.
  • Farmers are using drones to survey crops to determine which crops are healthy and which ones are not.
  • And, yes, drones are even being used to wash windows!

While all of this sounds rather Jetsons-esque, the fact of the matter is that this is 2021, and drones are being used for many careers and occupations already. Here at Pitsco, our goal has always been to provide learning experiences so students can gain valuable skills they can use in the future workforce.

It doesn’t get much more “future” than with drone technology.

I wanted to show you both our middle and high school curriculum options and how you can assist your students in learning some of these valuable skills.

Where Do I Start?

Starting in middle school, we have our Drone Flight Guide Curriculum and Field Elements Kit, which enables students to get hands on with drones. This curriculum was designed to introduce students to some of the various ways drones can be used in the real world.

Our middle school curriculum has many great advantages to help get you and your students excited about drones in an easy-to-use, nonintimidating way.

  • Includes both manual flight and coding activities
  • Includes up to 120 hours’ worth of curriculum tied to ITEEA standards
  • Has many progressive activities and open-ended challenges and competitions
  • Includes real-world connections to many drone-related careers
  • Allows flexibility for any drones to be used (although we do offer the Tello EDU Drones)

These are just some of the features of our middle school curriculum. It also includes a teacher guide and multiple student guides to help with the instruction of the course.

One great thing I like about this curriculum offering is that it ties in that competition element that so many students enjoy. I feel students learn so much when they do something hands on and when they compete against each other. This accomplishes both of those things!

You can download our middle school curriculum sample here.

What’s Next?

Furthermore, for high school, we have had the pleasure to partner with CrossFlight Sky Solutions over the past year to provide an extensive curriculum offering. This high school curriculum goes beyond the introduction to drones and really focuses on how your students can become FAA-certified drone pilots. While it does not grant access to the FAA Part 107 exam, it does prepare students to take that exam.

Look at it this way, it is very much like a driver’s education course but for drones. It essentially paves the way to pass the exam to get your license to commercially fly a drone.

This curriculum has many cool features: 

  • It provides a choice between 40-hour self-study or 150-hour full curriculum options.
  • It is robust in nature and covers all FAA Part 107 standards.
  • It introduces and connects multiple aviation-based careers.
  • It includes daily lesson plans and rubrics through an extensive learning management system.

One thing I really enjoy about this fully immersive high school curriculum is that it was designed by certified professionals and former educators. For those students who are interested in aviation and flying as their future career, this could get them on the correct path to make that dream a reality.

Click here for more information on CrossFlight’s high school drone curriculum.

What Else?

Drones are really an emerging technology in the true definition of the word. So many careers are using drones, and I firmly believe many more will follow suit. If we learned anything from 2020, it’s that problem-solving is paramount, and drones can help in solving many problems that maybe haven’t even been discovered yet.

Our drone curriculum offerings really pave the way so students can take advantage of the skills they will need for the future.

As always, we are here to help! Feel free to drop us a line in the comments section below. Tell us how you are currently teaching drones or if you have a need to teach drones in the future. Share with us some cool ways you have seen drones being used.

But most importantly, please stay safe and make the best out of 2021!

Window Cleaning Drones
The Role of Drone Technology in Sustainable Agriculture
4 Ways Drones Can Help Your HVAC Field Service Strategy



TOPICS: IN THE CLASSROOM, Competitions, ROBOTICS, Technology, STEM, Trends, Careers, Coding, Professional Development, Career Expeditions, Future Ready, Hands-on Learning, innovate, Workforce Development

Preston Frazier

Written by Preston Frazier

Hi all! I’m one of Pitsco’s education advisors and have the pleasure of serving the Midwest. I travel quite a bit visiting with teachers and presenting at workshops whenever I have the opportunity to do so. I’m an alum of the University of Missouri and Pittsburg State University and a supporter of our Big Brothers Big Sisters local chapter. I love traveling, going to sporting events, and hanging out with my wife and daughter whenever possible.