Over the past week, students from around the country have been in Oshkosh, Wisconsin during AirVenture, not just to enjoy the airshow, but to compete as part of the 2023 UAS4STEM national championship, (Sponsored by Skydio). These student teams compete using drones they have built themselves, with a national title as the prize for a variety of flying challenges. Through teamwork, competition, and STEM skills, teams construct and program their uncrewed aircraft to meet a mission-based challenge.
On hand to assist with the challenge this year were several volunteers and organizations from a multitude of aviation backgrounds. Skydio provided two staff, Jenn Player and Jacob Tewes, who both provided excellent feedback during the event. FAA AVSED team members Chris Sharp and Jim Brough were on hand to assist with Flight Readiness Review judging. April Lanotte with NASAs Aviation Education program was also on hand to offer insight and feedback to the Flight Readiness Review portion of the competition. A special thanks also to U.S. ARMY LTG Karbler who volunteered throughout the event, sharing his insight and experience with teams, mentors, and staff.
Additionally, UAS4STEM teams were able to share their stories with the acting FAA Administrator Polly Trottenberg and AMA President Rich Hanson during the AMA and FAA MOU signing ceremony. Polly expressed her appreciation for the hard work of both organizations as we collaborate in education to ensure programs like UAS4STEM are supported and provided to students around the country.
This year, both Beginner and Advanced teams participated in the competition; in the Advanced category, McIntosh Aeronautics of Peachtree City, Georgia became the 2023 UAS4STEM first-place finishers. In second place was Some Assembly Required of Rockville, Maryland, while Midtown Mavericks Drone Team from Atlanta, Georgia secured a strong third place finish.
In the Beginner category, we would like to congratulate first-place finishers St. Mary’s Composite Squadron of Patuxent River, Maryland, as well as Redstone Composite Squadron of Huntsville, Alabama in second place and Greeneville Composite Squadron of Greeneville, Tennessee in third!
In addition to these, the Dewey O. Broberg Jr. Scholarship was awarded by competition judges to recognize a student who showed dedication to their team, determination, and adherence to the rules and purpose of the competition. This year’s recipient was Muhammed Bryant of Some Assembly Required.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics would like to once again thank the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) for their support of the UAS4STEM program. Their ability to host a celebration of aviation like no other is unparalleled. The opportunity for our students, team mentors, and parents to enjoy all of what aviation has to offer through the support of EAA at this event is life-changing for our participants, and we couldn’t be more honored to be a part of this incredible event. Our most sincere thanks go out to our partner, EAA, as we look forward to continuing to positively influence future aviators.
If you are also interested in supporting the UAS4STEM program and being a part of a great program for young builders, engineers, and flyers, please do not hesitate to reach out to the AMA Education staff at Education@modelaircraft.org. Our team members would be very happy to speak with you and work together towards making UAS4STEM an even greater opportunity for an even greater number of students!