Photo Credit Flybrix.com
Drones are a fun and interactive way to teach kids about technology, and when it comes to learning anything new, failures are likely to occur. Unfortunately, failing with a drone usually means a crash landing, which could result in the destruction of a high-priced item. Rather than let that discourage kids from making mistakes, Flybrix seeks to encourage kids to learn through their failures. Using Lego bricks, Flybrix drones are capable of crashing and being put back together. Kids are free to crash their drones and then rebuild them, turning failure into a learning opportunity.
In case you don't know, Flybrix is a company that designs drone kits. With these kits, kids can build drones with Lego bricks, no tools needed. Once built, kids can fly their drone using the Flybrix app. Even though the kits come with a variety of Lego bricks, you're encouraged to add your own to create a unique design, further personalizing the experience. This way, kids get hands-on experience with building a drone and the process is interactive.
Cofounded by Amir Hirsch, Robb Walters and Holly Kasun, the Flybrix project began in 2015. Originally, their intention was to combine small drones with computer vision technology and this idea is what guides Flybrix's development today. Currently, their main goal is to facilitate kids' discovery of STEM topics, like robotics and engineering, with drones and Lego as a playful entry point. Flybrix states that their beliefs are that play is the best way to learn, trial and error experiments are the key to creative problem solving, and learning about drones should be safe and approachable.
Photo Credit Flybrix.com
While there are other kits that utilize Lego in drone building, Flybrix sets themselves apart by focussing on the educational aspect of building drones. They emphasize getting hands-on experience and learning through trial and error. Their drone kits help kids learn how to experiment with drone designs and understand their inner workings in an environment that allows them to work around their failures. Currently, Flybrix is used in over 500 schools in 32 states.
Monica Burns, an EdTech consultant, had this to say about Flybrix as an educational tool: “I definitely see the potential for this type of technology in the classroom. From moving students through the design process, problem solving as students work towards a goal, and specific connections to your existing curriculum, the possibilities are endless ... Flybrix was easy-to-use and tasks can definitely be differentiated for a variety of skill and experience levels.” We have seen drones being incorporated into curriculums in a variety of methods for the purposes of STEM education, but Flybrix has the potential to bring something new to the table.
I am a writer and an artist based in Georgia. Specializing in illustration, graphic design, and video art, I love to explore the new ways technology intersects with art. I think drones have done amazing things for photography and video art, making what would previously be costly and difficult more accessible. As a complete novice, it was only recently that I saw what independent artists could do with their drones, and I continue to be impressed by the sights that drones are able to explore and the images they can capture. Instagram: @tyesha.ferron