Computer Science Principles classes fly drones to model real world programming applications


Zenil Koovejee

Each select group of four students were provided with a drone, a battery, a digital tablet, and additional instruments needed for the fulfillment of the activity.

This past week, the Computer Science Principles class on campus engaged in various activities with drones and digital tablets, witnessing their programming come to life in an interactive, fun, and collaborative way.

“Using the drone equipment was really fun. Witnessing the creativity and diverse approaches each group took with their drones was unexpected and opened my eyes to the endless possibilities of programming,” said Arvind Krishna Sivakumar (‘25).

Learning about the real-world applications of programming, students had the opportunity to shape the trajectory of their assigned drone using block-coding, and witnessed firsthand how their commands directed the drone to accomplish a series of designated tasks.

“While I would have appreciated something slightly more advanced, using the block-coding approach was a simple and easy-to-use way to send instructions to the drone,” said Sivakumar.  

Through these engaging initiatives, students were able to transcend the conventional boundaries of the classroom, gain profound insight into the multifaceted and intricate world of software engineering, and discover the valuable outcomes that can arise after harnessing the power of programming.

“I never knew that coding could be such a rewarding experience. Seeing the live results of our inputs in a physical environment, after spending much of our time in the classroom this year, was really insightful,” said Nethra Parthasarathy (‘25)

The acquisition of drones represents a notable investment in the Computer Science Department on campus, exemplifying the growing support and financial backing for various departmental initiatives, including the recent addition of the R Building to campus infrastructure.

“We should do more activities like this going forward. It helps people understand that coding can be found in almost every aspect of our lives,” said Parthasarathy.

With the experience of flight and the power of software, students on campus were able to immerse themselves into this rewarding experience and foster a deeper understanding of the possibilities that lie ahead.