Welcome to the Aerial Drone Competition

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Drones are quickly finding their way into our everyday lives.  We see them in search and rescue, construction, utility line work, firefighting, agriculture, and countless other industries. Going beyond the confines of terrestrial airspace, drones are also increasingly used for space exploration. Following in the footsteps of the successful Ingenuity mission on Mars, NASA's Dragonfly Mission will send a drone to Titan (Saturn’s largest moon) to look for life in 2026. Careers in drones and drone technology are growing rapidly, and students with early and in-depth experience with drones will have a distinct advantage in future careers that rely on the technology.

The REC Foundation Aerial Drone Competition prepares our youth for these vocations now and in the future by strengthening skills they will rely on, both in the field and around the workplace. Through its uniquely engaging combination of teamwork and problem-solving, the competition challenges students to execute a problem-solving process that resembles the same mindset used by engineers, designers, and virtually every other profession. 

Designed for students in grades 5-12, students complete four missions at an Aerial Drone Competition.

Teamwork: Drones are piloted by students. Two teams fly together on the same competition field to maximize their score in a 90-second match.

Piloting Skills: Drones are piloted by students through an obstacle course. Each team competes alone to score as many points as possible in a 60-second match.

Autonomous Flight: Drones are programmed by students to operate entirely autonomously. Each team competes alone to score as many points as possible in a 60-second match.

Communication: Teams interview with Judges about their drone, programming, and Competition Logbook documentation.

Through these missions, students discover opportunities to approach and solve new challenges with confidence.

You will find the rules that shape the Aerial Drone Competition Eclipse are balanced to promote fair play while encouraging students to challenge themselves and each other. This competition is designed to emphasize teamwork, spur innovation, and, overall, be fun. We believe the skills learned and developed in the Aerial Drone Competition will help students overcome any obstacle presented to them.. 

Good luck and we will see you in the Flight Zone!

Louann Cormier
Senior Program Manager
Aerial Drone Competition