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Micro Madness Drone Race to be held at Yacht Club Monday

By Staff | Apr 26, 2019

Do you want to test your drone flying race skills? Join the Lee Virtual School Drone and Engineering Club for its inaugural Micro Madness Drone Race on Monday.

“Drone racing is a convergence of technical knowledge, coordination and strategic thinking,” Lee Virtual Principal Al Shilling said in a prepared statement. “We are excited about offering an event that brings students and the public together in an exciting venue that will most likely be the next NASCAR of high-performance sports.”

The Drone Race will begin at 5 p.m., Monday, April 29, at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, 5819 Driftwood Parkway. Practice begins at 3 p.m. Registration is $10 at lvip.leeschools.net.

To participate in the race, Shilling said individuals have to fill out a form on their website, the same location where they can pre-register.

“Pre-registration is required, so we can plan out the event,” He said.

The two races, which are open to all skill levels, include the “Tiny Whoop” drone race using provided drones, and the second is for individuals who own a drone that uses a battery of 8V or smaller.

The first race follows the National Drone Organization rules while wearing a wireless viewing system as though one is flying a drone through an obstacle course.

“Your time to complete the course determines placement. We supply those drones. Everyone is flying the same device,” he said.

Shilling said they ordered a special timing system that goes down to a millisecond for the second race.

“They are building obstacles, a variety of obstacles that people have to navigate through,” he said of his students.

The Lee Virtual School Drone and Engineering Club will also teach line of sight and first-person view flying.

Shilling said they started a Drone and Engineering Club this year, which includes a couple of students and parents who are really into drones.

“It’s an up and coming sport,” he said, adding that there are some huge mega events in some locations. “It is insanely popular in lots of areas.”

Shilling said being the cutting edge 21st century virtual school, they wanted to bring a Micro Madness Drone Race to Southwest Florida.

The race includes both an entertainment side, as well as an educational side for the students, which is important for students who are in a remote environment utilizing online teaching and learning. Shilling said it brings together individuals, and students, giving them the opportunity to practice their soft skills.

The group of middle school students who organized the event, learned about the financial and security aspect of putting together an event.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” Shilling said.

The Drone and Engineering Club is comprised of about eight young men and women who meet monthly in person, as well as having various online meetings. In addition to planning the Micro Madness Drone Race, which has been the club’s primary focus since January, they also organize what the club is about, while getting into engineering and aerodynamics of drones.

Shilling said they took a field trip to the Seahawk Park where the kids had the opportunity to fly planes, on a super windy day, as well as learn about the different systems of the plane. He said with the students understanding how the plane worked, they will more likely be destined to achieve greater things.