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An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

An upbeat website for a downtown school

the Southerner Online

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Midtown Drones team gets third place at national competition

Midtown Drones team wins 3rd place at the National Competition in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Chris Berg
Midtown Drones team wins 3rd place at the National Competition in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The Midtown Mavericks Drone team advanced to national competition in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, placing third in the UAS4STEM Advanced Division, its highest finish ever.

The team competed for two days in July in the competition hosted by the Academy of Model Aircraft. The Mavericks prepared for the competition the entire semester prior and qualified for the national competition at the UAS4STEM region competition. 

“During the school year, we built the frame of the drone and attached basic components,” junior drones team member Anna Rapposelli said. “Over the summer we continued to work on it and adjusted it to work optimally for the competition.”

Junior co-captain Kate Berg attributed the team’s success to the long preparation before the competition.

“Our team worked very hard over the summer and during the year to ensure that we were prepared for every possible scenario,” Berg said. “This preparation, combined with our teamwork, helped us to place.”

At the competition, the beginner and advanced divisions consist of six teams each. The top three teams from each division received a cash prize. 

“All of the teams were very good and prepared, as well as respectful towards others,” Rapposelli said.

The competition used a ranking system to score the teams based on their drones’ performance. 

“The ranking system is simply that for everything your drone does correctly out of the commands gets you points,” Berg said. “So, the better your commands are, the better you place. In addition to the presentation, the better and more thorough your presentation is, the better you are placed.”

Senior co-captain Lawson Scott said he credits the Mavericks’ achievement to team chemistry and understanding of the competition rules. 

“I think we did very well overall since we hadn’t flown the drone with the particular pickup device before the competition,” Scott said. 

Co-captain Lawson Scott’s mother, Adrienne Scott, was an on-site mentor for the national competition and was impressed with the team’s performance.

“Their perseverance and teamwork resulted in their very first podium finish at nationals, in the advanced team category,” Adrienne Scott said. 

Berg said she is proud of the team’s success. 

“I believe that we did very well, and we can come back next year and do even better,” Berg said. “I think we will continue to improve and grow into a much larger and stronger team.” 

Last year, the drones team was a part of the Midtown G3 Robotics program. This year, the team is becoming its own program.

“We are breaking off from the Robotics team and forming our own new club,” Rapposelli said. “We plan to expand to possibly racing drones or aircrafts. There will be much more freedom and decision-making, especially when it comes to preparing for UAS4STEM next year.” 

The separation from the robotics program has allowed the Drones program more room to start projects of their own as well. 

“We are rebranding and looking to improve on our in-school competition, Drones For Good, to give a higher amount of funds to spend on our national competition, UAS4STEM,” Lawson Scott said.

Drones for Good, an impact project geared toward elementary and middle schoolers to introduce them to drones and STEM, is what originally brought Lawson Scott and his mother to the drones program at Midtown. 

“I was impressed by the purpose of the competition and how the Midtown High School students were able to organize a truly engaging purposeful STEM event with a lasting impact on children from schools all over Atlanta,” Adrienne Scott said. “I was truly inspired and have been involved ever since, to support the team’s purpose.”

Other than beginning the Drones for Good project once again, the team is also expecting other changes as a result of their new independence. 

“We will absolutely change for the better,” Rapposellli said. “The drone will improve; our skills will be honed, and we will place higher at UAS4STEM next year.”

With the drones team’s recent success and its evolving program dynamic, Berg said she recommends it to potential members.

“I would encourage others to join the drones team because it is an opportunity that not many have,” Berg said. “You get to learn very important skills such as soldering, wiring, design and you get to do it with great friends. Lastly, I would say going to the competition over the summer is a life-changing experience. Anyone interested in aviation should definitely come compete with us.”

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About the Contributor
Abby Ippen
Abby Ippen, Lifestyle Section Editor
Abby Ippen is a third-year staff member and she is excited to contribute to the paper. Outside the paper, she enjoys playing soccer, running, and hanging out with friends.

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