STEAM education in Aussie schools – DJI paves the way

Over the last few years, schools around the country have heavily invested in STEAM education to better prepare the current generation of students for the ever-changing workplace. DJI, being one of the largest drone manufacturers created DJI Education to provide students with STEAM learning opportunities.

We got the chance to speak with the head of DJI Education, Jianrong Gao and asked a few questions to better understand what DJI is doing in the world of STEAM and creating the curriculum of tomorrow.

DJI has already created DJI Education which is a “new branch within DJI with the goal to provide students with experiential learning opportunities in the areas of STEAM, robotics and AI,” according to Gao.

What does DJI do in terms of education in Australia?

“Since late 2019, [DJI} started working with Universities in Australia to incorporate aerial robots (i.e. DJI drones) into their research project. More recently, we’ve signed a MoU with UNSW to cooperate on education, training and research initiatives in engineering,” to better prepare students for the future of jobs.

An example of this can be seen in this video where drones are being used to count Koala numbers across Australia.

“By introducing educational robots with cutting-edge hardware capabilities and supplemental teaching materials into the Australian classroom and academic institutions, it will expand the boundaries for students learning AI, engineering, programming, and robotics and other STEAM-related subjects.”

DJI RoboMaster EP Core

Just after we received the answers to our questions DJI came out with the new RoboMaster EP Core, a ground-based educational robot designed for use in the classroom that comes packed with extra materials for teachers and educators to create programs for students around the robot.

The RoboMaster EP allows students and users to control it via the mobile app and controller as well as code such as Scratch and Python and allows you to control it with Arduinos among the other popular controller boards on the market.

Why do you think drones and other robotics are a great way to educate students in the field of STEM?

“Teachers, principals, educators are always looking for new technology that not only helps them teach, but also allows students to become more engaged in what is being taught. Having drones and robots as teaching tools definitely brings excitement to the classroom and a more enriched learning experience, for both teachers and students.”

“More importantly, having robots that come ready with AI technologies, is programmable and intelligent, with a customizable configuration, will help students expand creative possibilities and enable them to develop robots that could lead to real-life applications.”

Are there any plans to integrate DJI’s products into school curriculums?

“In Australia, we are going to partner with local education experts to develop curriculum which aligns with Australian curriculum standards. We also work with local curriculum partners across the globe to develop and tailor teaching materials and courses that is more in line with the needs of a particular market or local institution. As we continue to expand our hardware, software / SDK support and competition kits, we are looking forward to working with more curriculum partners to take our drones and ground robots to more schools around Australia.”

“Teaching materials and curriculums is already a part of our all-in-one solution with the RoboMaster series and Tello EDU drone. For example, our Tello EDU includes project-based curriculum in which every lesson is based on real-life applications. Students are challenged to apply their programming knowledge to come up with a solution to a specific problem. In addition to their coding skills, students will also make use of logic, problem solving skills and teamwork.”

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