Creekview High School places fourth at the UAS4STEM Nationals

The Creekview High School Aeronautics Team continued its success at the national level, with a fourth-place overall win at the UAS4STEM Search and Rescue Nationals. The team of John Abdinoor, Nick Garcia, Aiden McChesney, Canon Sousa and Andrew White earned a spot at Nationals in Muncie, Ind. after finishing third at the Southeast Regional Competition in May. In its first year, the Academy of Model Aeronautics’ UAS4STEM competition engages students in the challenge of building, programming and flying a remotely controlled drone in a search-and-rescue scenario. Upon completing FAA ground school, teams receive materials to build, program and fly their drone, which must be capable of broadcasting live video and establishing GPS position at all times. After several months of work, students compete regionally in events at which they earn points by presenting their flight plan, flying to way points across a search grid and locating items of interest with GPS and video technology. The 15 top teams from regionals were invited to the academy’s headquarters for nationals.

Despite a rainstorm, the Creekview High School team located all objects in the search area and landed its drone in the National competition. “We are proud of the perseverance of our Aeronautics Team at this competition,” said team sponsor teacher Tim Smyrl. “To compete nationally and finish fourth in our first year of competition speaks volumes for our kids and their efforts. We look forward to competing again next year.” The team competes also annually in the Team America Rocketry Challenge at which it has earned national and international honors in addition to the new UAS4STEM program. The team is offered as an extracurricular STEM outreach, and several former team members have pursued degrees and careers in engineering and aerospace fields.

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