Michigan students learning to code with programmable drones

Posted at 9:04 AM, Mar 28, 2017

Many students across metro Detroit are gearing up for spring break, but time off doesn't mean educational experiences have to disappear. 

Programmable drones are keeping kids learning and entertained. 

Mrs. Karen Taylor, a media specialist at Liberty Middle School, and seventh grader Russell Cuff stopped by Broadcast House today to talk about how drones can help introduce coding to young students. 

Cuff showed off a Parrot Minidrone. Parrot reports that more than 500 schools in the United States have incorporated Parrot drones into the school curriculum. 

"They're teaching our students great skills," said Taylor. "They're learning programming, they're learning problem solving skills and it's getting them ready for the job world, because drones are the jobs of the future." 

The drones are used in the school's maker space. The space, Taylor says, offers students "low-tech options mixed with high-tech options." 

"Before school, lunchtime, even after school, kids are coming in to ask to use the drones," said Taylor. 

Cuff says it only took him about a day to learn how to code using the drone's Tynker app

"You can do flips, barrel [rolls], anything you really want," said Cuff. 

It's a platform that intrigues Cuff who says his future involves engineering. 

"Me and my friends look forward to building the future, flying cars maybe" said Cuff.