High School Students Compete in New Drone Racing League

     Published on 6/10/19   Tagged under:    District News    Corcoran High School    Henninger High School    Nottingham High School    PSLA @ Fowler   

This is a photo of three boys, each holding a drone, standing in a school gym in front of a drone racing course.“It’s hard to see where they’re going!”
A group of Nottingham students laughed as they each tried to maneuver a drone through a course set up in a classroom – a practice run to prepare for their upcoming competition with other SCSD high schools.
Thanks to a grant written by Nottingham technology teacher Bryan English and funded by the SCSD Educational Foundation, students at Nottingham, Henninger, Corcoran and PSLA at Fowler all received the equipment needed to start their own drone racing team.
Each school received seven Parrot drones and two Ryze Tello drones, as well as equipment needed to create their own practice drone racing course.
“Drone Technology is an emerging field,” Mr. English said. “PSLA at Fowler has a program, but we wanted more kids to have the chance to become interested in drones in a fun, hands-on way. They’re learning pitch, yaw, roll – principles of drone flight – through programming their controls.”
In the first year of the grant, Mr. English said the goal is simply to allow students the opportunity to become comfortable flying the drones – and allow the schools the time to overcome logistical challenges. Next year, he hopes to expand the program, allowing double the number of students to compete.
In late April, the four schools came together for their first competition at Nottingham. Teams competed in several rounds, in which they had to maneuver a drone through a series of 12 hoops of varying heights, spaced out throughout the gym. Points were awarded for first through fourth place. In total this school year, teams competed in four drone racing league competitions.
“The high hoops are our challenge, because we don’t practice with those in school,” PSLA at Fowler sophomore Cameron Szpiczka said. “It’s hard to judge the height! But this is our first time competing using drones, so we’ve been looking forward to it. It’s fun to fly them and get them through the hoops while having fun with our friends.”
Congratulations to the league’s top finishers:
Score   Rank               
180      1          Eamonn Sullivan - Nottingham          
170      2          Gerard Mack - Nottingham    
140      3          Jesse Gallipeau - Corcoran     
137.5   4          Reece Villani - PSLA    
122.5   5          Carlos Roque - Corcoran        
105      6          Aidan Harrington - Nottingham         
Thank you to the SCSD Educational Foundation for bringing this forward-thinking field to life for our high school students!