Drone Team Challenge
Drone Team Challenge

About DTC

Developing a drone training program for students was the early dream of educator, Sean McSheehy. He saw the excitement drone training generated in his own students and was motivated to do more. Once Sean partnered with tech entrepreneur and visionary, Dr. Paul Hsu, Drone Team Challenge was given wings. In 2014, a demonstration was given to a rural school in Laurel Hill, FL and many great opportunities sprang from that event including a grant opportunity to create the envisioned learning platform.

Drone Team Challenge "The Early Days"

Drone Team Challenge is a comprehensive training program for students in grade 3 and up. It was developed by the HSU Educational Foundation.


In addition to classroom training, there are several competition days held throughout the year designed to challenge students and get them excited about programming drones! Each competition day consists of 5 mission areas. They are outlined below.


1. Knowledge

The knowledge of aviation principles and drone operations is the foundation for success in this program. Students have short lessons they are taught during a weekly training session. They are able to put this knowledge to work for them as they compete in this mission on competition day.  

Teams will be given a  Kahoot.it test in the knowledge mission. Teams will compete for top spots based on FAA and AMA guidelines and aviation concepts.

Elementary School- Areas of Focus

Phonetic Alphabet from A to Z (2 Questions)
Part 107  (8 Questions)

Middle School- Areas of Focus

Phonetic Alphabet from A to Z  (2 Questions)
Part 107  (16 Questions) 
Quizlet First 20 ( 2 Questions) 

High School- Areas of Focus

Phonetic Alphabet from A to Z  (2 Questions)
Part 107  (16 Questions) 
Quizlet First 20 ( 2 Questions) 

Knowledge Study Sets

Full Study Set & Kahoot Link 

2. Flight Simulation

Flight Simulation using Drone Racing League (DRL)

DRL is a fast paced multi-player and single player FPV drone racing simulator. Using real world racing drones you can fly through an unlimited array of custom tracks with a variety of gates and barriers to hone your racing skills. Some of the gates even move! Our time attack mode also lets you set the pace and improve with every lap while racing against yourself.


3. Piloting & Navigation

At the third level of Drone Team Challenge, students will navigate a simple obstacle course with multiple gates. Student pilots will practice their hands on piloting skills with the goal of being the team that most quickly navigates timed gates.

Introducing time into the mission challenges the students and demands a higher level of mastery throughout each course.

4. Creation

Programming is central part of the creation mission. The Tello drone has the ability to be programmed using SCRATCH. Drone blocks is also a great option as it is easier to use and understand for many of the younger students.

As students gain a higher level of expertise with the drones, programming with Python can be introduced.

5. Mentorship

The mentorship aspect fosters the development of basic STEM principles such as leadership and teamwork. Students have the opportunity to learn from other students and industry professionals as they work to master drone operations.

Drone Team Challenge