Drones are cool and kids everywhere love to fly them. Did you know his school might even offer a Drone Racing program? With STEM programs gaining more traction than ever, it's no wonder kids are interested in this new program.
While other high schools and colleges offer Drone Racing, it's new to students in the Murfreesboro City Schools (MCS) system. MCS recently introduced drone racing in their schools. “To our knowledge, MCS is the first elementary school in our area to develop a drone racing league,” says Scott Campbell, Technology Director. “We are working to give students more opportunities for real world applications.”
Student teams pilot the drones, configure the video transmitters as well as maintain and replace parts to keep the drone flying. Students work with team coaches and the MCS technology department to solve problems and develop course strategies.
The MCS Drone Racing Teams are made up of two conferences with each school having five to sevent students per team. Teams race in three meets in the Spring to earn points with the finale in May.
These meets are also pretty fun to watch! They include endurance and traditional races to see which school team, and which pilot, is the fastest and can handle the course best. In a traditional competition, kids fly drones through two racing gates and one hoop gate on each side of the 20’ x 60’ course. They earn points as they fly the drone through the course outline including a hoop gate. The timed endurance race features less obstacles, but completing laps is critical.
“This experience has been amazing for our kids. They have had to persevere and learn how to completely fly a drone,” says Abbey Sanders, Bradley Academy teacher coach. “Every day we practice, we are continuing to get better. Anytime we have opportunity like this, we are preparing our kids for the future.”