Oklahoma Students Compete In South Central Aerial Drone Championship

Drones buzzed and whirred, filling the airspace at the Tulsa Community College Riverside Campus on Friday as hundreds of students from around the country put their drone flying skills to the test.

Friday, April 19th 2024, 9:51 am

By: News On 6, Jayden Brannon


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Hundreds of students from around the country were in Tulsa over the weekend to put their drone flying skills to the test.

They competed in the South-Central Aerial Drone Championship at Tulsa Community College.

Drones buzzed and whirred, filling the airspace at the Tulsa Community College Riverside Campus. "Show off their piloting skills, their autonomous flight coding skills, they're also showing off teamwork and collaboration skills through their floor competitions that they're going to be a part of today," said Tulsa Community College Dean of Science & Aeronautics, Julie Porterfield.

Hundreds of middle schoolers and high schoolers tested their flight skills in the South-Central Drone Championship, flying the drones under arches and picking up things like ping pong balls were just a few of the tasks the students did in the competition, being timed on how fast they could fly their drones through several obstacles. "So, our teams have been practicing one on one with their own skills and they're going to try to get the highest amount of points they can, and that combines with our coding points so anything the coders get, and the skills get together, that's what they'll get their skills overall," said one competitor, Angelique Rivera.

Rivera is a part of the team at Dove Science Academy in Oklahoma city. She said her favorite part about flying drones is testing her skills in competition, "it feels really exciting when you get a high score and you're like that's what's going to put us at the top," she said.

Tulsa Community College Dean Porterfield hoped this sparked student's interest in the aerospace industry. "Getting middle school and high school students involved in aerospace through drone technology will create a pipeline of education from middle school and high school to community colleges and to businesses in the Tulsa region," she said.

But even if they take a different route, she knows the skills they learned at the competition will help with any career they choose. "Teamwork, communication, collaboration. These are all skills that are learned through this competition that apply directly to the workforce," said Porterfield.

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