Since its inception, STEAM For the Win has championed the use of drones as a means to teach vital employability skills. Following the winter holiday break, we introduced our students to For the Win Robotic’s Hopper drones, and the results were nothing short of remarkable. The introduction of drones to our special education students brought forth a dynamic approach to teaching an array of employability and social-emotional skills.

From the very start, as students engaged in assembling the drones, they began to acquire technical skills crucial for operating them. They learned how to control the device, troubleshoot technical issues, and perform basic maintenance, thus enhancing their technological literacy—a skill set indispensable in today’s workplaces.


Furthermore, flying drones became a platform for honing problem-solving abilities. Students developed spatial awareness, adapted to changing conditions, and learned to troubleshoot when faced with challenges.

Attention to detail emerged as a central focus while operating the drones. Success in flying drones demanded an understanding of flight patterns and adherence to precise instructions—skills transferable to various job roles where precision is paramount. Moreover, instilling safety awareness in drone operations was crucial. Educating students on safety protocols and regulations not only instilled a sense of responsibility but also heightened awareness of potential risks—an indispensable aspect of employability in any field.

Exposure to drone technology has broadened students’ horizons to potential career paths in fields such as aerial photography, agriculture, surveying, and environmental monitoring. This exposure aided them in identifying their interests and goals for future employment. As one parent recently reported, many students have gone home telling their parents they can become drone pilots!

In essence, integrating drones into the curriculum offers a hands-on learning experience that not only teaches technical skills but also nurtures essential employability skills crucial for success in the workforce.

Moving forward, our next project after spring break will involve learning to code the drones. This additional skill development will enable students to program the drones to navigate obstacles and complete specific tasks and challenges, fostering creativity and innovation. Whether devising unique flight paths, capturing aerial footage, or exploring drone technology applications, this creative endeavor will further prepare students for diverse future employment opportunities.

As we prepare for our Drone Showcase event on May 9th, collaborative projects with drones will continue to facilitate teamwork and communication. Whether working in pairs or small groups, students will be tasked with planning flight paths, coordinating movements, and effectively communicating to complete the drone challenges.