Flying High: Exploring the U.S. National Drone Soccer Team @ CES 2024 - Show Notes

Flying High: Exploring the U.S. National Drone Soccer Team @ CES 2024

Sunday Jun 16, 2024 (00:10:25)


Drone soccer is an innovative international sport that not only provides entertainment but also promotes STEM education. STEM, an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, is a vital area of education that prepares students for future careers in a rapidly evolving technological world. The Fida USA organization is bringing this unique program to schools around the country.

Promoting STEM education through drone soccer

Drone soccer offers a unique platform for children as young as four years old to learn how to safely and successfully fly drones. The sport involves flying drones that are akin to popular commercial drone brands, allowing players to log flight time, hours, and maintenance. This hands-on experience with drones imparts a practical understanding of technology and engineering principles to children.

Moreover, drone soccer opens up unique opportunities for students to develop skills that are in high demand in the drone industry. By playing the game and logging their flight time, children can potentially secure a job in the drone industry and earn a lucrative salary before even reaching high school. This not only motivates students to engage with STEM subjects but also paves the way for career pathways in a burgeoning industry.

The game itself is structured into three three-minute rounds, similar to indoor soccer, with five players on each team. The objective is to score the most goals within the time limit, promoting teamwork, strategy, and quick thinking. Drone soccer merges physical activity with technological skills, making it an engaging and educational sport for players of all ages.

In addition to promoting STEM education through gameplay, Fida USA is integrating drone soccer into educational programs and college sports. Schools and colleges are adopting drone soccer as a sport, providing students with opportunities to compete and excel in a unique field. This expansion of drone soccer into educational institutions demonstrates its potential to inspire and educate future generations in STEM subjects.

Furthermore, partnerships with organizations like the American Legion underscore the community-building aspect of drone soccer. By setting up drone soccer arenas in local communities, the sport brings families together and fosters collaboration and unity. This community engagement aspect of drone soccer not only promotes STEM education but also strengthens social connections and builds a sense of belonging among participants.

Drone operation with protective shield

Drone soccer with a protective shield is a unique and innovative sport that combines the thrill of flying drones with the safety of a protective shell. The drones used in these competitions are equipped with carbon-based shells that are strong and durable. The shells are designed with pentagon shapes and metal bars for extra stability, making them ideal for high-speed racing in indoor arenas.

One of the key features of these drones is their ability to bounce off walls and obstacles without sustaining damage. This not only adds an element of safety to the sport but also allows for continuous gameplay without the need for frequent repairs or replacements. Additionally, the drones are equipped with red and blue lights to indicate team colors and positions, making it easier for referees to monitor gameplay and enforce rules.

Drone usage with a protective shield also offers educational benefits. Children as young as four years old can learn to fly drones with these safety features, making it a valuable tool for teaching STEM concepts to students of all ages. Furthermore, the drones are designed for easy setup and operation, allowing users to fly them immediately without the need for complex tuning or programming.

Conclusion: A fun and educational drone sport

In terms of pricing, the drones are available for purchase for around $350, which includes everything needed to fly, such as the drone, controller, batteries, and charging cable. This accessibility and affordability make drone racing with a protective shield a viable option for schools, educational programs, and individuals looking to engage in STEM activities.

In conclusion, drone soccer is more than just a sport - it is a conduit for promoting STEM education and preparing students for future careers in technology and engineering. By providing hands-on experience with drones, fostering teamwork and strategy skills, and creating opportunities for career advancement, drone soccer and Fida USA are valuable educational tools that inspire and empower young minds to excel in STEM fields.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Scott Ertz

Host, Episode Author

Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.


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