Instructors Dave Tess and Chris Maki organized and are coaching SCLA’s inaugural drone racing team made possible by a generous grant from the MISF (Minnesota Independent School Forum).
The 2020-2021 drone racing season started in February with students practicing on computers in a racing simulator. After weeks and many hours logged learning to fly a drone, they began to construct and configure real drones and obstacle courses for flight.
So far this year, all competitions have been virtual, with the pilots building a new predetermined course every two weeks. Then, pilots compete against other schools and use an app to record and submit verified times. Check out a few of SCLA’s recent flights (from the perspective of the pilot) by watching the videos below.
"Like many other activities at school, whether it's practicing an instrument, writing thoughtful reflections, striding over a hurdle, developing critical thinking skills, or flying a drone,” said Coach Dave Tess, “this team gives students a chance to dedicate themselves to something and improve at it.There are no shortcuts. SCLA pilots dedicate themselves and clearly see their own improvement week after week."
If you would like to see how SCLA pilots rank, visit https://fly.youthdronesports.org/league/leaderboards and click on the results of each course. The season wraps up in May with potential for a state competition (if COVID protocols allow).