The Royal Hospital School hosted the Airgineers STEM challenge attended by secondary schools from across the region.
Pupils design, build and learn to fly their own radio controlled quadcopter, often referred to as a drone. RHS welcomed ten teams from five different schools to compete in the Micro Class events. The drones that were flown had previously been built by the teams using CAD/CAM software, 3D printing and authorised components. Pilots control their drone from First Person View (FPV), wearing goggles that have a video feed directly from their drone – to the pilot, it feels like they are sat right in the cockpit.
The teams were faced with two challenges; 'Head to Head' and 'Capture the Flag'. Both would test not only their piloting skills but the accuracy of their construction and effectiveness of their designs. The Head to Head was a two team race around a course marked by a series of gates with the team who finished the three laps fastest being declared the winner. Capture the Flag saw two teams work together to try and capture more 'flags' than their opponent. Flags were awarded by hitting LED tubes and bonus points were awarded for landing their drones on the landing pads before the match ended.
RHS pupils had spent weeks in lunchtime and after school sessions designing, building and tinkering with their Micro Drone. Once it was built, they set about mastering piloting the craft and becoming accustomed to the FPV headset transmitting images from the tiny on board camera.
The RHS team were pleased with their performance throughout the day, seeing improvements and playing some strong games with good strategy. Although they didn't win they hope to compete again later in the year applying what they learnt from the inaugural competition.
Congratulations go to The Ramsey Academy team who won a deserved victory and thanks to Mrs Maloney for organising, hosting and running this activity.