“The kids have been so fascinated to see the different perspectives and it’s nice to see them get super excited.”
This year, City Park School was awarded a $500 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) grant on behalf of the North Georgia Electric Membership Foundation Board of Trustees. The staff used the grant money to purchase a drone to take photographs of the school and introduce students to an innovative form of instruction.
Each year, the school is responsible for taking their annual staff photo. However, due to social distancing guidelines, the traditional staff picture could not be taken in the same way as prior years.
Hannah Talley, media specialist at City Park, decided to purchase the drone to not only take the staff photo, but also utilize it as an educational resource.
Talley began to brainstorm how the drone could be beneficial for students. Many students in kindergarten are learning about certain concepts such as their place in the surrounding neighborhood. She observed how the drone was able to accurately depict a bird's eye view.
"We discovered we could see the mountain in the distance and you could see the valley, so we started capturing images and videos to share them with staff and students."
The drone, who has been affectionately named ThunderCAT, captures photographs and videos that help teachers enhance classroom subjects by showing their students mapping, geography and landforms.
For Talley, she is hopeful that this new technology will spawn new ideas and continue building a positive school culture.
"I think it's going to be great for our school," Talley said. "We've had a lot of positive responses and feedback for other ways to use the drone, and other elementary schools in the district have expressed interest in following our same footsteps."
Talley said she's excited that the students are enthusiastic about the drone. She looks forward to the future with ThunderCAT as she continues to experiment through trial and error.
"I'm making ThunderCAT a photo book for his first year and all of his adventures since he is our little guinea pig," Talley said. "The kids have been so fascinated to see the different perspectives and it's nice to see them get super excited."