Heard ES club using drones to promote teamwork & coding

Heard ES club using drones to promote teamwork & coding

After the dismissal bell rings at Lomie G. Heard Elementary School every Tuesday and Wednesday, the cafeteria transforms into the headquarters for an after-school drone club.

Heard Elementary School, a Clark County School District (CCSD) Magnet School, piloted the unique drone club for fourth and fifth grade students last year, and it’s really taken off.

“We get to fly drones and have some fun,” said fourth-grader Marysel Alano. “I’m hoping it gets bigger and more people join.”

The club has a total of 18 students working in six teams. The students navigate drones through an obstacle course using coding and their piloting skills.

The teams continuously make improvements from their laptops through coding to help the drones maneuver the course.

The club provides additional learning opportunities beyond the classroom.

“The teamwork. Getting along with each other. Working together. It’s the critical thinking. They enjoy using their brain,” said Mark Thomas, a coding teacher at Heard Elementary School and the club’s coach. “It’s the physical aspect. It’s not just sitting in front of a computer and doing coding.” 

For the students, it’s a fun and engaging extracurricular activity they feel lucky to have.

“The most I like about this after-school club is that we’re able to experience stuff that most people aren’t able to,” said fifth-grader Johan Quintero. “So, I’m really like grateful for what we have.”

Heard Elementary School will be hosting an aerial drone competition on Saturday, March 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.