The use of UAS, drones or model aircraft by students in an accredited education institution as a part of their coursework is allowed under the recreational guidelines for model aircraft provided the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization like the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA).
The use of drones for education provide new and unique career opportunities for students and inspire interest in STEM education through hands-on activity. AMA offers a variety of educational programming through the AMA Flight School including student model aviation clubs and UAS4STEM, its hands-on learning competition series. For more information and to find the program that is right for your classroom, please visit AMA’s website here.
Important Note: Recreational guidelines apply only to accredited educational institutions and does not apply to research efforts, which would too closely link operation of the UAS to faculty members’ professional duties and compensation. Likewise, a course instructor can only provide minimal assistance to a student flying a UAS when the primary purpose of the course is not operating the UAS — rather, is focused on design and construction, etc. For schools interested in operating a UAS for purposes other than recreational use (i.e. for research), please review our guidelines for business and public operators.
Click here for more information from the FAA on flying drones for educational or instructional purposes.