December 20, 2017 - EAA is working with the Academy of Model Aeronautics to inspire young aviators through AMA’s UAS4STEM competitions, which bring affordable drone kits to teams of young people that they can build and enter in AMA-sponsored competitions across the country.
The UAS4STEM regional competitions are held all over the country, which the AMA hopes will ensure most teams will have a manageable drive to the nearest contest.
EAA Partnership Development Manager Kyle Ludwick said the UAS4STEM competitions are another way EAA members can participate in introducing aviation to people who don’t have much experience with it.
“This is a call-out for members, and chapters, to go reach out to young audiences in schools and youth programs to try to promote the AMA’s UAS4STEM teams,” Kyle said.
Kyle explained that EAA and AMA both play an important role in bringing more young people into the world of flight, something both organizations realize is vital to the future of aviation.
“EAA’s relationship with the AMA is important because of the role that the AMA and model aviation has on many aviators’ upbringing into aviation,” Kyle said. “By promoting AMA’s UAS4STEM program, EAA is promoting youth to learn transferable skills through a great project and competition format that they can one day take to the full-scale aviation world.”
While the EAA chapters themselves won’t be entering the competitions, their members can serve as technical advisors on the build projects for the teams, which are made up of four to 10 children between the ages of 11 and 19, and AMA team leaders.
The UAS4STEM challenge comes with everything needed to assemble and fly a Quadzilla quadcopter, aside from a laptop, including the UAS4STEM Online Ground School, an autopilot, an RC system, and an onboard camera.
Kyle said the UAS4STEM competitions are, in a way, similar to working on a homebuilding project that could compete for an award at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh or in IAC competition.
“The idea behind it is they build their Quadzilla giving them hands-on experience on how to build, program, and problem solve,” he said. “Then they are ready to go compete in regional and national competitions.”