SCH Engineering Honors Claims Second Straight Win at Regional Drone Competition

SCH Engineering Honors Claims Second Straight Win at Regional Drone Competition

After a year and a half of ballooning, SCH’s Engineering Honors class wasted no time shifting gears to focus on another flying project: The Philadelphia Regional ARC Drone Competition. Seniors Devin Gibson, Cameron Lyon, and Shaun Gupte won first place for the second straight year. Competing against four other teams, they simulated a drone firefighter that could fly to waypoints, retrieve and drop objects, and autonomously maneuver through a pre-set course.

“Unlike FIRST or the Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project where there's a lot of collaboration and teamwork involved, ARC was one project specifically tasked for us,” says Lyon. “The design, the coding, the testing, and the competing were everyone's responsibility, and being able to win shows how far we've come from simply following the curriculum.”

The drone came out on top in the “head-to-head” competition, racing to complete tasks against a rival drone. First place comes with a $1,000 prize and qualifies the trio for the national competition in Los Angeles later this summer. 

This group of seniors has come up through the robotics program together, and their experience culminated in an exciting senior year of launching weather balloons, presenting at a national conference, qualifying for the FIRST World Championship, and winning the drone competition. 

“The main lesson I gathered from all of this is to step out of your comfort zone,” says Lyon. “I've realized there is a difference between what you learn in the classroom and what you learn in the field, and by doing these projects, you begin to step out of this box and interact with people you would have never known.”

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