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West Virginia’s first drone competition takes off this month

A team in a drone competition maneuvers the craft through an obstacle. The first flying robotics competition for middle and high school students, sponsored by the Robert C. Byrd Institute at Marshall University and NASA’s Katherine Johnson IV&V Facility, in West Virginia will be held May 15 at Huntington Tri-State Airport. (Photo Provided)

HUNTINGTON — The Robert C. Byrd Institute at Marshall University and NASA’s Katherine Johnson IV&V Facility are teaming up with the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation to sponsor West Virginia’s first flying robotics competition for middle and high school students.

The event offers students an opportunity to get hands-on experience in S.T.E.M. education in a fun, fast-paced game. Students will learn to safely operate a drone, work as a team and research workforce applications of aerial robotics technology.

The competition will be held 8-4 p.m. May 15 at Huntington Tri-State Airport. Teams are limited to four adults and students and all attendees must complete a brief health screening before entering the venue. Masks are required and no in-person spectators will be allowed.

Students, with or without experience operating a drone, are encouraged to participate. The NASA IV&V Facility has a limited number of drones to loan teams that don’t have them.

The deadline to register is May 8. Registration and more information is available at www.rcbi.org/radc2021. Scholarships are provided by the REC Foundation for West Virginia teams to participate for free.

For more information, contact Todd Ensign, the tournament director, at tensign@fairmontstate.edu.

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