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The buzz in the air wasn’t only caused by excitement as the upper primary students participated in drone workshops facilitated by the University of Southern Queensland. The squeals of delight emanating from the classroom may lead an unknowing passer-by to think the children were doing little more than playing with high tech gadgets.  However, this could not be further than the truth. 

The workshops emphasised that while drones can serve a recreational purpose for some users, most importantly, they are tools used to solve real-world problems. New and innovative uses for drones are developed daily. From the surveying of building sites to delivery of vital medical supplies to remote areas, the use of drones is becoming commonplace in society.

A core aspect of the St Peters STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) curriculum is fostering student’s curiosity about the possibilities of new technologies and ensuring they have relevant and practical experiences. This hands-on approach will equip students with essential 21st-century skills that will ultimately allow them to solve problems in their communities and future workplaces. Our students must be uninhibited by technological innovations and in their willingness to use technology to approach challenges. 

During the workshops, students were required to collaborate and share their understandings and ideas to achieve a common goal.  By talking through the problem, they were encouraged to think critically about the steps required to reach a solution.  Not only were communication skills developed, but also vital critical thinking and logical reasoning skills which are transferable to other learning contexts and subject areas, including Mathematics and English.

It is truly an engaging time to be a learner. From sending up a drone to analyse the performance of a sporting team, to creating detailed maps and models, there is seemingly no end to the possibilities.   I marvel at the ways our students will shape their futures using the vast array of technology available to them.

By Karen Hofstee, Acting Head of Primary, St Peters Lutheran College Springfield