K-State Salina Empowers STEM Education: Drone Racing and Project LEAPES

By Trish Svoboda

Kansas State University Salina is at the forefront of supporting the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians (STEM). Through recent STEM initiatives, K-State Salina has actively assisted K-12 educators in providing quality experiences for their students.

One project involved a drone racing competition specifically designed for middle school students. The Applied Aviation Research Center (AARC) at K-State Salina provided training to instructors from each school to help guide students in drone design, engineering, and flying skills. These students then competed from their respective schools across Kansas, including Salina, Great Bend, Gypsum, Kansas City, and Topeka.

In addition, K-State Salina collaborated with the College of Education on Project LEAPES, which stands for Learning, Exploration, and Application for Prospective Engineering Students. This initiative aims to enhance rural education by offering free training and resources to teachers. On-campus STEM courses, covering areas like robotics, aviation, uncrewed aircraft systems, and computer science, were provided to instructors by faculty experts from the campus.

As K-State Salina continues its commitment to becoming a next-generation land-grant institution, it remains dedicated to expanding engagement programs. These efforts contribute to the university’s annual impact within the community, region, and state.

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