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Modified 5 days ago by Dev Ramesh

Modified 5 days ago by Dev Ramesh

Student version

Hardware - Completed drone build if available, or use video resource to demonstrate the pre-flight safety check.

Previous lesson - N/A

Knowledge -

  • Students will be able to know the laws regulating hobby drone flight.

  • Students will be able to identify a safe environment for flight.

  • Students can identify potential hazards of drone flight and soldering.

  • Students will also learn about proper safety procedures to minimize safety hazards.

Skills - Students will learn about the purpose of and be able to find the pre-flight safety checklist.


STANDARDS: Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

Modified 2020-08-15 by Rara Ma

ISTE: 2. b.: Engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.

NGSS: HS - ETS1 - 3: Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

Assessments and Evidence of Understanding

Modified 2020-08-18 by Rara Ma

By the end of this lesson, students will recognize that there are laws regulating hobby drone flight in their area, and they will be able to identify a safe environment that they can fly their drones in. They will be able to identify potential hazards of drone flight and soldering, and will learn about proper safety procedures to minimize risk of these hazards.

Students will complete an assignment, that they can answer the questions and hand in to their teachers as homework.

AGENDA (Brief Summary of Activities)

Modified 2020-09-06 by Rara Ma

5 min: Introduction to the lesson.

30 min: Students will analyze a case study, learn about FAA rules, be able to recognize a safe space for flight, learn about safety hazards and the pre flight checklist.

20 min: Ending of lesson by preparing and flying drone demonstration

Differentiation (strategies for grouping, ELL, and inclusion)

Modified 2020-04-16 by Garrett Warren

Advanced preparation/Materials/Set Up (Including Misconceptions)

Modified 2020-09-03 by Rara Ma

Student Materials:

  • Drone and soldering kit
  • Safety equipment

Teacher Materials:

Classroom Set Up

  • Have an area of the classroom free for teacher example drone flight and neighborhood modeling activities.


Modified 2020-04-16 by Garrett Warren

Introducing The Lesson

Modified 2020-09-03 by Rara Ma

Hook: The drones that students are building is relatively powerful, and can cause harm to them or others if not used safely.

  • Can show a drone fail compilation video and note the danger in those videos
    • Example video:Video involves mostly crashes from bad locations of flying

Main Lesson

Modified 2020-08-15 by Rara Ma

Case Study: The Midair Collision in 2009
  • Do case study about the Midair Collision in 2009 where safety was compromised
    • Collision between a private airplane and a sightseeing helicopter over Manhattan that resulted in 9 deaths.
  • Video of impact druing incident

  • Animation by NTSB explaining the incident

  • Explain the causes that contributed to this:

    • The limitations of the see and avoid concept
    • Teterboro Airport local controller’s non pertinent telephone conversation
    • Inadequate FAA procedures and regulations
  • Explain what the NTSB is, annd what are NTSB reports

    • NTSB: National Transportation Safety Board
    • NTSB reports: provides detailed accounts of accidents.

Have a class discussion on the importance of this event.

  • Examples of questions that can be considered during the discussion:
    • How might the see and avoid concept be applied to the smaller drones we are flying?
    • What are some distractions that you might experience when flying your drone?
    • How can we mitigate these distractions?
    • Some of you may drive cars. What safety skills from driving can be translated to flying?
FAA rules
  • Explain what FAA stands for and what it is responsible for
    • FAA: Federal Aviation Administration
    • responsible for regulation of civil aviation: including airports, air traffic management, certification of people, certification of aircraft, and protection of US assets.
  • Students must follow FAA rules when operating their drones

  • Go over some of the general important safety guidelines by the FAA, the most applicable rules for students are in the handout.

Students are considered to be recreational users.

Exercise: Teachers can set up a diorama of a mini neighborhood in the classroom (with paper or boxes). Teachers can hold a paper airplane over it, and ask students to guide the “drone” through the neighborhood. Teachers can also ask students where and where not they can fly and their reasoning.

Where to fly:
  • Explain to students where/how they can choose a space where they can safely operate their drones.

Encouraged to fly your drone indoors if you have enough space. FAA rules do not apply to operations that take place indoors.

Possible Sources for Danger:
  • Explain there are potential sources of danger and students should be constantly aware when operating their drone.

Exercise: While teachers list potential sources of danger, students can pick out drone/soldering kit part that could present that danger. Students should also name the part(s).

  • Explain potential sources of danger with soldering:

    • extreme heat and possible burns
    • don’t leave materials unattended
  • There are several possible sources of danger that can result from the drone:

    • applying force to your body
    • energy discharge from the body
    • parts or propellers dislodging from the drone
    • electric shorts and fires
    • faulty battery
Safe Environment
  • Explain “The Bystander Effect” and emphasize that students should always be aware of surroundings and be ready to act

    • the more people that are present, the less likely someone will help a victim during a situation
  • Explain that students should always make sure that have a safe environment to fly

  • If students can solder or fly their drones in a designated school space, please make sure to address any rules or protocol that must be followed to ensure that students are safe or in case of an accident.

  • Explain important safety equipment:

    • Safety glasses, gloves, walls, distance
    • net (not required but point it out if there is one in the class)

Exercise: Get students to gather their required safety equipment while teacher sets up a safe flying space.

Ending The Lesson

Modified 2020-08-18 by Rara Ma

Pre-flight Checklist
  • Introduce the idea of the pre-flight checklist, and that students must go through it whenever they fly

Exercise: Teachers can go through the pre-flight safety checklist as they are gearing up their drone flight for the students to see.

  • Go through the pre-flight checklist that is on the handout:

Teachers should have the pre-flight checklist handout printed for each student, and make sure they always have it with them during flights.

First Flight:
  • Emphasize that teachers should supervise students for their first flight.

    • There are many potential problems that could occur with the first flight due to incorrect build or just it being the students’ first experience controlling the drone.
  • Go through some situations students may experience/should be aware of, students should recognize them and identify potential ways to fix them.

Assignment for students:

Take home assignment for students.

The goal of this assignment is to ask students to think critically about how to ensure robots are operated safely, and to devise guidelines for operating their robot safely.