Teacher Professional Development and Student Outreach in sUAS and Geospatial Technology
To increase and diversify the geospatial technology and UAS workforce, it is critical to develop student interest early in their academic career. A key component of the GeoTEd-UAS project is student recruitment of future community college students through outreach and exposure to role models in the field.
The project team has developed student outreach materials and offered programs for students in middle-school through college including hands on flying time with competitions, building a UAS, experience with a variety of vehicles and sensors, and exposure to professionals working the field.
The team has leveraged the GEOTREK-12 program created and sponsored by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium to develop outreach materials and coordinate and offer many outreach events for students and teachers. The GeoTEd-UAS team will continue to coordinate and offer these outreach events and look for opportunities to expand the program.
Former GeoTEd-UAS cohort participant, Veronica Spradlin is a high school Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher in Montgomery County, Virginia. She developed and offered the first ever pilot UAS course for the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). VDOE is now working with Veronica to further develop the course and make it available to all teachers in the Commonwealth. GeoTEd-UAS PI Chris Carter will serve on the curriculum review committee and ensure the course is informed by the work of the GeoTEd-UAS team.
Below is a summary of outreach events that have been offered through the project:
The video below is from a UAS outreach activity as part of a Technology Exploration Saturday at Thomas Nelson Community College. VSGC coordinates these Saturdays for middle-school students and their parents. This program included hands-on demos and sUAS flying competitions with instruction led by the GeoTEd-UAS team.