Saturday’s challenge event wraps up the week long Drones 4 STEM Summer Boot Camp, where 20 participants spent the week learning how to build a drone from a kit of supplies and then built their own custom drones. On Saturday, the teams will compete in three challenges and the team with the highest combined score will win their own micro-sized drone kit.
The Drones 4 STEM Summer Boot Camp and Challenge event was made possible through grant funding from the Georgia Space Grant Consortium (GSGC). West Georgia Tech has partnered with the Georgia Tech Institute of Technology’s Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering and the Drone Racing Club of Atlanta to host the camp and challenge event.
Camp participants include West Georgia Tech STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) students and instructors from West Georgia Tech, the University of West Georgia and the Carroll County School System.
“Drones 4 STEM has been great for the students who have chosen to participate in this boot camp,” said Julian Schmoke, West Georgia Tech Executive Director for Campus Operations - Carroll Campus. “One of the best learning tools we can offer a student is the opportunity to put the things they learn into real world application. It is the strength of the technical colleges. For these participants, they will never look at the theory they learn in the classroom in the same way because the competition and boot camp has shown them why STEM related fields of study are important, and that each of them have a role to play in making the world a better place through STEM.”
Drone racing is quickly becoming a popular sport among drone enthusiasts. Competitions are held across the nation and thousands of people have joined drone affiliations like the Drone Racing Club of Atlanta.
“Drones are the embodiment of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and we want to show young and old how fun it is to learn all about STEM as it relates to drones,” said Drone Racing Club Founder and President Todd Wahl. “The challenge will consist of two main contests using the drones the students have assembled and trained on using Radio Control and First Person View. The first will be a challenge replicating real world applied commercial or civil use for drones, such as reconnaissance, intelligence gathering and pipeline inspection. The challenge concludes with a fun FPV Drone Racing competition at the end.”
What makes Saturday’s challenge event so unique is the fact that the students and instructors constructed their own drones with help from Wahl and other Drone Racing Club representatives.
“The Drones 4 STEM Boot Camp is a tremendous opportunity for our students to develop skills in a new technology in a fun and competitive environment,” said West Georgia Tech Engineering Technology Instructor Luis Acevedo. “We want to thank the Drone Racing Club of Atlanta, the Georgia Tech Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering and the Georgia Space Grant Consortium for their efforts and support to make this possible.”
The drones will start flying at 9 a.m. Saturday. The event is expected to conclude around 1 p.m.
Flight simulators and a micro drone will be on site for the public to try. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets due to limited bleacher seating.
“The students who are competing are looking forward to Saturday’s competition, but I am looking forward to how the public sees the event,” Schmoke said. “Young people sometimes struggle to find out where they fit in the world, and if someone’s child or young adult gets excited about drones, it may help them self-ignite their own learning and discovery process. The best student is an engaged student and a hidden benefit to this event is that we may change the path of a young person for the better.”