Photo: Conor Berry shares his drone with Mr. John Burks for the Physical Science Class project at St. Bernard Prep.
CULLMAN – A remote control drone was recently used as part of a speed experiment in physical science class at St. Bernard Prep. While the drone itself was just plain cool, the temperature outside was a balmy 95 degrees. However that did not hamper the efforts of student, Conor Berry and instructor, John Burks as they escorted the class to the football field, where students were armed with cell phones, stop watches, pens and paper.
Each eighth-grade student was assigned to a group of four members. Using the field markings students took their assigned positions and performed three trial runs which gave each group four measurements. Burks stood at the north end of the field under the hovering drone; while Berry operated the remote from the south end.
Three trial runs were performed. When the signal was made to begin by the wave of the arms, the drone traveled full throttle from one end of the field with students calculating travel on the 40, 60, 80 and 100 yard lines.
Students returned to their classroom in Founders Hall to begin analyzing their data. Calculating the numbers presented its own set of problems as students worked in group to complete the actual speed of the drone. With formulas written on the smartboard, students' eyes begin to sort of glaze over at the overwhelming feeling of multiplying and dividing in science class.
Burks further started assisting with the breakdown of numbers by demonstrating a quick math lesson. Students eagerly grasped the information at hand and came to a conclusion that their drone experiment calculated a speed of 21 mph. Burks then asked each student to graph their calculation.
The class thanked Berry for the use of his drone. Burks said this demonstration is fun for students and it brings to life a better understanding how math and science are connected.