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A Pedagogical Model connecting Drone Technology to STEAM Learning for Secondary Grades 9-10

Drone-based Interdisciplinary Learning & Entrepreneurship Education

Hong Kong
A Finnish curriculum framework was adopted to cultivate students’ transversal competences under the theme of drone technology in Hong Kong. Students applied what they learnt to design a drone-assisted water sampling system which would offer an effective means of water quality and pollution sources monitoring at a low cost.

What is Drone-based Interdisciplinary Learning & Entrepreneurship Education?

Richard Chung-yiu Yeung, Science Teacher, Carmel Holy Word Secondary School, Hong Kong
“The Finnish curriculum model exhibits a set of competences that young people need to develop in the information age. It provides an excellent framework for the STEAM education in Hong Kong context.”

Richard Chung-yiu Yeung, Science Teacher, Carmel Holy Word Secondary School, Hong Kong

What we do?

The cross-curricular drone-based STEAM programme was implemented in two phases, namely the knowledge developing phase and the engineering problem-solving phase.

Knowledge Developing Phase

  • The first phase was a 36-hour interdisciplinary course which allowed students to acquire experience in drone manipulation (quadcopters), coding polygon flight, video production, zone area measurement, micro:bit coding, simple machine design and entrepreneur proposal presentation.
  •  Many interesting and creative entrepreneur ideas, such as "drug delivery", "glass curtain wall cleaning", "bridge inspection" and "tree care & conservation", were proposed.
  • Alumni were invited to share workplace experience in various fields in which drone technology has been increasingly important, including building survey, environmental science and marketing.

Engineering Problem-solving Phase

  • Thanks to the appreciable reliability of drone technology, the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have played an active role in environmental research and marine conservation. 
  • Surface water sampling and water analysis, in particular, came to our attention because drone-assisted water sampling could be an effective way to monitor water quality and pollution sources at a low cost. 
  • Making a drone-assisted surface water sampling device followed by water analysis was decided on as an exciting STEAM task for students in the second phase (12-hour) of the programme. 

Why we do it?

  1. STEAM education, which is considered to be one of the most effective strategies to develop students’ 21st Century Skills, has become an international topic of discussion over the past few years. 
  2. This pilot scheme aims to build up an interdisciplinary framework of drone-based learning (which has been recently called “dronagogy”) for secondary grades 9-10. 
  3. Interdisciplinary learning (also known as phenomenon-based learning) has been promoted in Finland since its Education Reform at 2016. The new curriculum model proposed exhibits a set of skills and values (transversal competences) that young people need to develop in order to succeed in the information age and hence has provided an excellent outline for the development of our STEAM drone-based project. 
  4. As STEAM education is still new to most teachers in Hong Kong, this trial project proposes a framework for interdisciplinary learning that is hoped will be useful to educators interested in the area of STEAM learning strategy development.
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Innovation Overview
14 - 17
Age Group
1 429
Tips for implementation
Check out the video and presentation for more information:
Contact information
Richard Chung-yiu YEUNG

See this innovation in action

全球教育創新大賞 (NXTEducator Summit):迦密聖道中學「無人機跨學科課程」
Drone-based Interdisciplinary Learning & Entrepreneurship Education | HundrED Spotlight 2019
NXTEducator Summit, Taipei
Ednovation Fest Workshop: Drone-based STEM Interdisciplinary Learning
i-Journey Fair, EDB, Hong Kong
A Finnish Interdisciplinary Approach to STEAM Learning: Drone-assisted Surface Water Sampling
The Drone-based Interdisciplinary STEAM Curriculum Framework
Hanging Basket Sampling System


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Introduction to the Drone-based Learning Project
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Lesson 01 (3 hrs) ~ SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Course Outline & Introduction to Drone Technology
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Lesson 02 (3 hrs) ~ DRONE PILOTING
Flying a Drone Safely
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Lesson 03 (3 hrs) ~ PROGRAMMED FLIGHT
Programmed Flight
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Lesson 04 (3 hrs) ~ DRONE CODING & MATHEMATICS
Geometry & Drone Programming, Trigonometry & Drone Application
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Drone Surveying
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