Mini-Grant Application for School Year 2016-17

Submitted by: Matt Ostrowsky Email: Grade Level: 3-5 Subject: STEM, Coding, Robotics, Scienc
Co-Applicant: Email: Grade level: Subject:

School: Durbin Creek Elementary School Type: Public Grade Levels:PreK-5 County:St. Johns

Approx. Enrollment: 650 Number of teachers:50 % of Free and Reduced Lunch:11%

School Address:

Durbin Creek Elementary School 4100 Racetrack Road St. Johns, FL 32259

Phone: 904-547-3880 Principal:Angela Fuller Email: Angela.Fuller@stjohns.k12.fl.u

Project Title: Durbin's Drones!
Project Dates: January 20-May 2017 Grade Levels:

Focus Area(s) :STEM- Coding- Robotics - Drone Education

“Durbin’s Drones” is a STEM-based education initiative that is designed to teach students at Durbin Creek Elementary School about coding/computer programming, robotics, and the mechanics of flight. Using drones (both programmable and nonprogrammable) in conjunction with the coding website, students will code their drone to lift off the ground, fly a certain distance at a given speed, flip over, change direction, and land safely on the ground. Before operating their drones, students will first go through a series of online training exercises that simulate later flight activities. Tynker’s computer programming courses known as ‘Drones 101” trains students how to use drone-specific commands. During the course of the various Crash Course puzzles, students will navigate a virtual drone through virtual obstacles, preparing them to program the real thing. The puzzles teach the fundamentals of programming, including sequencing, loops, conditionals, and more. They also learn the specific commands they’ll need to control their drone. In other training exercises, students will modify the app’s default code to make their virtual drone (and later, their actual drone) hover, flip, change direction.

Project Innovation The use of drones in schools, especially as it relates to K-12 STEM education, is in its infancy. In fact, courses in computer programming and coding have just, in recent years, found their way into elementary school curricula as our society sees the need for a new generation of innovators. To this end, “Durbin’s Drones” will be the second phase in STEM/coding education for the students at Durbin Creek Elementary School. In the 2015-16 school year, with the help of generous funding from TERRA, our students learned to operate Spheros—small robotic balls controlled and programmed using various Sphero-designed apps—to learn the basics of the Blockly computer programming language. This year, Durbin Creek students will use the knowledge they gained programming their Spheros last year and will take to the sky to program flying drones! Through projects such as “Sphero Heroes” and “Durbin’s Drones,” students in our school can be afforded opportunities to apply their classroom grade level standards with real-world applications such as robotics, computer programming, aviation, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and communication, trial-and-error learning, and much more. In recent years, Parrot Education has become a leader in the production of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in K-12 STEM education. Their latest product is the Mambo drone, which can be controlled using either their own Parrot Flypad controller, or through a tablet or smartphone with Bluetooth 4.0. In addition to being able to fly, hover, and flip, the Mambo even comes with a basic camera function, as well as a grabbing mechanism that enables it to pick up a lightweight object, carry it to another location, and release it. Curriculum Integration In collaboration with Parrot Education, offers a curriculum called “Drones 101,” an introductory 9-lesson drone programming course. Using a combination of interactive lessons, concept explanations, videos, puzzles, and DIY projects, “Drones 101” teaches students to write programs that control drones. The coding activities (of 45-60 minutes each) build and reinforce STEM skills in geometry, art, math, and science. Some of the elementary Common Core State Standards that the programs address include: • CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. • CCSS.SC.3.E.5.4 Explore the Law of Gravity by demonstrating that gravity is a force that can be overcome. • CCSS.SC.4.P.12.1: Recognize that an object in motion always changes its position and may change its direction. • CCSS.SC.4.P.12.2: Investigate and describe that the speed of an object is determined by the distance it travels in a unit of time and that objects can move at different speeds. • CCSS.SC.5.P.13.2 Investigate and describe that the greater the force applied to it, the greater the change in motion of a given object. • CCSS.SC.5.P.13.1-Identify familiar forces that cause objects to move, such as pushes or pulls, including gravity acting on falling objects. • CCSS.SC.5.P.13.2-Investigate and describe that the greater the force applied to it, the greater the change in motion of a given object. In addition, each of Tynker’s “Drones 101” courses comes complete with their own set of objectives to be met. For example, in the “Intro to Flying” lesson, students will: • Become familiar with visual programming. • Program a drone to fly using basic motion commands. • Learn the coding concept "loop": a control statement for specifying iteration which allows code to be run repeatedly. Additionally, in the “Flying Time, Speed, and Distance” lesson, students will program a drone to fly at different speed and duration settings, in order to fly a specific distance. Related Physics concepts that students will explore include: o Linear relationship between speed, time, and distance o Velocity is a vector describing speed value with a direction Once students have completed the “Drones 101” course, they will be awarded their DCES Pilot’s License and will be ready to fly! POTENTIAL FOR SCHOOL/COMMUNITY IMPACT The opportunity for local impact is tremendous. Within our own school, students involved in the “Durbin’s Drones” project will develop positive communication skills, as they work in small teams to carry out the tasks set forth in the “Drones 101” program. They will need not only to share original ideas of their own, but will also need to listen and be open to others’ ideas as well. Furthermore, students involved in the activities will gain new experience as they deepen their knowledge of coding. Levels of self-esteem will be raised as participants are seen by others as “those cool kids who get to use drones in school!” All pillars of our Character Counts! program will be reinforced as students work to be fair, responsible, respectful, trustworthy, and caring citizens of our school community throughout the course of the project. Beyond our own school walls, “Durbin’s Drones” can also open the doors for students who may be interested in one day pursuing a career in the fields of computer programming, robotics, STEM, or even avionics. They may go home and tell their parents that they want to learn more about drones, robotics, and coding. They have the power to spread the enthusiasm for this field of study to friends and neighbors in their communities, even with friends with whom they interact on social media. In addition, “Durbin’s Drones” will help to increase student achievement, raise test scores, involve more minorities and girls in the coding movement (two important demographics that the industry greatly lacks!), and produce strong digital citizens for the next generation. TECHNOLOGY USE Needless to say, there is no shortage of technology use in a program like “Durbin’s Drones.” Every step of the project is designed to be technology-rich. From the very first lesson, students will engage with iPads using Tynker’s “Drones 101” computer programming course and will, of course, learn to operate and code the drones themselves. They will also be required to learn about each component of the drone to gain a full understanding of how they work and how each individual part operates. There has been a push in St. Johns County Schools to teach Digital Citizenship to all students in recent years. To that end, lessons for proper use of technology will be integrated into this project. Students will, at all times, be expected to properly care for the iPads, Mambo drones, and all other equipment that they use. The Mambo drone includes a built in camera which can take photographs. While flying their drone, students will take aerial photos and later transfer their photos to a school computer, which they can then download, or share on Edmodo or Microsoft OneNote. DATA COLLECTION/EVIDENCE OF GAINS As indicated above, the lessons outlined throughout each step of the process target grade-level Common Core State Standards. After completion of this project, I expect to see improved scores in both classroom assessments and state standardized tests. In addition, students will be held responsible for recording their own data on flight attempts to keep track of their successful flights as well as opportunities for improvement. SHARING WITH COMMUNITY Each year, our school holds an annual “Science and Art Expo,” during which student demonstrate various science projects they’ve conducted both in their classroom and at home. In addition, St. Johns County School District puts on a STEM Fair toward the end of each school year. Both of these will be perfect opportunities for our students to show the amazing things they’ll have learned to do with their drones. At the STEM Fair, students and teachers from other schools, as well as other community members and stakeholders from around the county come to see what the students in our district are able to do in the field of STEM. Without question, our students will amaze other attendees with their new-found knowledge in coding their drones!! Finally, all of our student achievements will be shared on our Durbin Creek Elementary School website. IN CONCLUSION… Grant money that is awarded will be used to purchase… • One (1) Mambo Drone Six-Pack, which includes: • 6 mambo drones with accessories • 18 batteries • 6 USB charger socks • 6 sets of 4 propellers • 6 Flypad Controller • One (1) Parrot Toolbox (with tools for repairing drones as needed) • Three (3) 16GB iPad Air tablets, and • Three (3) Griffin Survivor iPad Protective Cases


Service/ Item Description Cost
One (1) Mambo Drone Six-Pack 1,199.99
One (1) Parrot Toolbox (with tools for repairing drones as needed) 19.99
Three (3) 16GB iPad Air tablets 1137.00
Three (3) Griffin Survivor iPad Protective Cases 112.50
Total Cost of Project $2469.48
If matching funds identified list source:
Donated Goods/Services:
Total Requested From TERRA $2469.48

I, Matt Ostrowsky, certify that the application is complete and final, AND I verify that I have received permission to apply for these funds from Angela Fuller,the Principal of Durbin Creek Elementary School and any other individuals required by my school district.