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The aerospace and robotics sector can provide a vast amount of learning opportunities for STEM fields. The large range of task difficulty in projects related to these sectors allows these opportunities to be relevant to all students, from high school level up to the far end of higher education. The ability to physically test prototypes developed by students provides a much greater sense of engagement. STEM concepts for high school students can be applied in a fundamental way to reinforce both their knowledge and practical skills, with higher education students able to delve in-depth into complex concepts while still being able to see the practical outcomes of their coursework or research. The aim of this paper is to describe the development and use of the Indoor Flying Arena (IFA) at Queensland University of Technology (QUT)._x000D_ _x000D_ The IFA was developed primarily for engineering courses in aerospace and robotics, but is also used for the annual high school science week hosted by QUT. The flying arena is a 10x8x4m netted area which allows for hands-on prototyping and testing of flying drones in a safe and controlled manner. The IFA provides a flexible teaching environment and allows for multiple levels of task difficulty through the facet of programming drones. Student projects generally involve tasks such as gathering and analyzing telemetry data, designing control systems, and using navigation commands to move the drone around the flight space. Results show that the IFA allows for higher experimentation repeatability, and provides a higher level of reinforcement in the theoretical and practical knowledge of the students. The IFA also shows beneficial results from a teaching perspective, including consistency in marking, as well as an overall increase in student engagement, motivation, and participation

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Luis Felipe Gonzalez 1327
Scientific production

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