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UAS4Stem Search and Rescue Challenge

Academy of Model Aeronautics Launches UAS Competitive Education Program

A small group of hikers has gone missing in a remote area. Although rescuers have determined a search area, they are unsure of the exact location and conditions of the hikers. Your team has been called upon to provide rapid response using a small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) that can support the search-and-rescue mission.

And  so begins the lead-in for the Academy of Model Aeronautics new UAS Competitive Educational Program called UAS4STEM. This program is designed to encourage teamwork, competition, and success through a STEM-based education platform. The new UAS4STEM program will provide student teams of four to eight people with training, insurance, licensing, and equipment to compete in search-and-rescue challenges. Kits for the program will be available in the fall of 2015. Much like the popular robotics programs currently available to middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities, the UAS4STEM program will allow students to learn while they have fun and enjoy working as a team. Student teams will receive the training and equipment to ensure safe operations.

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To get started, all teams will be required to complete an online curriculum. This ensures that all students will have learned about multirotor safety before they can attempt to fly. After the students have passed the online portion of the program, the complete kit will ship. Students must then build their aircraft and test-fly it. The online video series helps ensure success while reducing risk. Competitions will be held at AMA flying sites in the spring of 2016. The cost for the team is $1,995, which includes licenses for each student, a Quadzilla quadcopter kit, all necessary support equipment except laptop computer, a full online curriculum, an online video series, AMA memberships for the students, and competition entry fees. Teams can register now by visiting www.uas4stem.org.

The AMA continues to embrace new technology and increase its educational efforts. AMA has granted nearly $900,000 in scholarships to Youth members wishing to pursue higher education and has approximately 50,000 students in its AMA Youth program. Additional information about AMA’s educational resources can be found by visiting www.modelaircraft.org/education.

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