On Saturday, Aug. 20, middle and high school students from across the U.S. competed in the UAS4STEM program’s first national competition, held at the International Aeromodeling Center in Muncie, Ind.
The teams built their own drones and competed in various flying challenges for the national title. According to the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), the organizer of UAS4STEM, the contest is designed to teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills.
The 2016 UAS4STEM Search and Rescue Challenge’s first-place winner was Quad Squad from Shoreview, Minn. They were awarded a trophy, medals and a $2,500 cash prize.
The PTC Droners of Georgia took second place, and the St. Mary’s CAP Squadron-O89 of Maryland took third place.
The Dewey O. Broberg Jr. scholarship was also awarded to one of the competitors during the competition. The award recognized a team member, Paige Hensley, who showed dedication, determination and adherence to the rules and purpose of the competition, says AMA.
UAS4STEM was designed by AMA to encourage teamwork, competition and success through a STEM-based education platform. The program provides student teams of four to eight people with training, insurance, licensing and equipment to compete in search-and-rescue challenges. The program is managed by AMA’s education department as part of AMA Flight School. Each of the teams that participated in the national competition earned its spot by qualifying at one of the many regional competitions held throughout the country.