engineering design and coding through quadcopters


teaching, engineering design, coding, computational thinking


Computational thinking, programming, coding, and analytical thinking are high-demand skills in today's educational and occupational arenas (Wing, 2006 & 2014). In addition to these skills, students need the ability to think creatively, work collaboratively, and develop design solutions to complex problems to succeed in school and a globally-connected society (Dym, et al., 2005; Grubbs & Strimel, 2015). Commendable efforts towards increasing students' preparedness and exposure to these 21st century skills have increased in recent years through legislation, curriculum, pedagogical innovations, and a variety of other factors (Grover & Pea, 2013; Grover, 2011). However, challenges around the instruction, training, assessment, and development of computationally oriented skills remain (Barr & Stephenson 2011; Werner, Denner, Campe, & Kawamoto, 2012). Additionally, many teachers do not feel prepared, qualified, or capable of teaching advanced skills such as programming and coding to their students (Lang, Galanos, Goode, Seehorn, Trees, Phillips, & Stephenson, 2013; Google & Gallup, 2016), as they lack the appropriate knowledge and experience themselves. Further, appropriate resources, strategies, and support systems may not be in place to ensure that this instruction, if it does occur, will be successful (Grover & Pea, 2013). The authors propose that a useful tool for integrating, teaching, and improving computational thinking, programming, coding, and analytical thinking skills in students resides in quadcopters.

Original Publication Citation

Bartholomew, S. R., Zhang, L., & Weitlauf, J. (2018). Engineering Design & Coding Through Quadcopters. Technology and Engineering Teacher, 78(1), 14–21.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

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Technology & Engineering Teacher




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology



University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor