Developing computational thinking in STEM Education using drones

Farha Sattar, Muhammad Nawaz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedingspeer-review


Recent trends in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education are focused on developing problem-solving skills and computational thinking and empowering students with the STEM discipline's knowledge to solve real-world problems. STEM incorporates an interdisciplinary approach that includes inquiry, analysis, critical thinking, practical experimentation, and cooperative problem-solving. Technological advancements are offering new ways to integrate new tools such as drones, robotics and gaming in teaching and learning practices and modify the pedagogical approaches that are more appealing and engaging. This paper presents an innovative pedagogical approach and practice that integrate drone technology and block-based programming to foster students' computation thinking in a STEM context. The block-based visual programming languages provide an interactive environment to connect the blocks and write programs. The study was conducted in six Australian schools. Students were assigned projects to automate drones using the DroneBlocks app and make programs to fly the drone in different geometrical patterns; straight line, arch, rectangle, triangles and zig-zag and integrate the various manoeuvres; bounce, 8D flips, and throw & go along flight paths. Students' computational thinking development was examined with an emphasis on their performance in formulating and problem-solving. Results have shown that integrated drone and programming pedagogy contributed significantly to students' learning of developing computational thinking for problem-solving and decomposing a problem into smaller parts in a sequence that includes mathematical algorithms to write programs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDeveloping mathematical and computational thinking using Drones
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - May 2023
EventIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (IEEE Educon) 2023 - American University of Kuwait, Salmiya, Kuwait
Duration: 1 May 20234 May 2023
Conference number: 54358X


ConferenceIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (IEEE Educon) 2023
Internet address


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