Empowering Young Minds with Python and Drones

My name is Tatenda and I’m so excited to be on the team as a Technologist and Learning Coordinator for Miami EdTech. I recently graduated with a Bachelors in Computer Science at FIU (go Panthers!). As a new graduate and now working in the tech field, an exciting start was being able to attend the Code/Art Fest and take on an awesome project this past weekend! 

Over the weekend, we had the opportunity to teach kids how to code a drone using Python through Blockly. It was an exciting experience, and it opened up a new world of possibilities for these young zealous minds. What was even more impressive was the fact that it’s become a starter for girls to do STEAM-related classes and eventually pursue careers in the field.

Our goal was to integrate these disciplines to create a more holistic and engaging learning experience for students. The coding of a drone using Python and teaching them to debug as they tried different ways to go through the obstacle course is one of the activities that helped achieve this goal!

collage of the girls learning to code the drone and coloring images of women in stem

We started the workshop by introducing the basics of the Python programming language to the kids. We explained how to use the language to control the drone and make it perform various functions. Using Blockly, which is a visual drag-and-drop programming tool developed by Google that allows children to snap together commands like puzzle pieces. We then moved on to the practical aspect of the workshop, where we showed the girls how to start coding. 

The kids were excited to see the drone take off and follow their instructions. They could make it fly in different directions, change its altitude, and perform flips and other tricks. It was a thrilling experience for them, and they couldn’t wait to learn more.

What was particularly inspiring was the participation of girls in the workshop. It’s no secret that there is a gender gap in the STEAM fields, with fewer girls pursuing careers in these areas. However, this workshop showed that when given the opportunity, girls can excel in these fields and even surpass their male counterparts.

The girls in the workshop were enthusiastic and eager to learn. They asked insightful questions, came up with innovative ideas, and worked diligently on their objective. They proved that given the right resources and encouragement, girls can thrive in STEAM-related fields.

In conclusion, the workshop was a great success, not just because the kids learned how to code a drone using Python, but also because it became a starter for girls to do STEAM-related classes. It showed that by providing access and opportunities to girls, we can close the gender gap and create a more diverse and inclusive STEAM community. It was a small step towards a brighter and more equitable future. Thank you again Code/Art for giving us the opportunity to encourage young minds. 

Check out our Instagram reel here!

You can also learn more about Blocky here

Want to try a Blockly activity? Learn how to do so here.

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