Developing Computational Thinking in STEM Education with 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 publicationEDUCON 2023 - IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, Proceedings
    PublisherIEEE Computer Society
    Number of pages5
    ISBN (Electronic)9798350399431
    Publication statusPublished - 2023
    Event14th IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2023 - Salmiya, Kuwait
    Duration: 1 May 20234 May 2023

    Publication series

    NameIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON
    ISSN (Print)2165-9559
    ISSN (Electronic)2165-9567


    Conference14th IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2023


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