An innovative student drone competition promoting real-world drone applications, autonomous flight coding, and teamwork

Virtual Event

Droneworks will be completely virtual. Entries must be submitted before March 24, 2021.

About Droneworks

Updated 02-12-21: Due to COVID-19,  Droneworks will be completely virtual for this year onlyEntries must be submitted before March 24, 2021. Submission details will be posted once they are released.

New this year! We now have drone competitions at both levels with Droneworks: Middle School (Grades 5-9) and Droneworks: High School (Grades 9-12).

Droneworks encourages students to learn how drones are used in real-world applications. Students will research the use of drones in a given theme area such as search-and-rescue, humanitarian aid, agriculture, structural inspection, and more.

Teams document their research and applications of drones as a Digital Research Poster for middle school and a Digital Research Portfolio for high school.

Participants demonstrate their understanding of the principles of flight and knowledge of coding to program their drone to complete a given challenge autonomously using pre-programmed commands and sensor/camera inputs. It’s not a race, but teams will only have one (1) minute to score the most points.

Teams will be complete the autonomous flight challenge off-site and submit a video of their flight.

Droneworks Event Components

Online Submissions due March 24, 2021

Team of 1-2 Students

Up to 2 Teams per Chapter

Artboard 12

Programmable Drone

Artboard 12

Digital Research Poster or Research Portfolio

1-Minute Autonomous Flight Challenge

Autonomous Flight Video

Droneworks: Middle School

Middle School TSA members in grades 5-9 research the use of drones related to the given theme and create a digital research poster. Participants also code their drone to complete the autonomous flight challenge off-site and prepare a video submission showing their solution.

A “Team” consists of one to two (1-2) participants with one (1) serving as Pilot and one (1) serving as Spotter.

In a Team of one (1) participant, the individual may serve as both Pilot and Spotter.

Pilot and Spotter can switch roles during the competition.

Two (2) teams of one to two (1-2) students per chapter may participate; one (1) entry per team.

For the given theme, teams create a Digital Research Poster explaining up to three (3) ways drones may be used related to the theme.

Teams code their drone to complete the Autonomous Flight Challenge and score as many points as possible within one (1) minute.

Teams will complete the Autonomous Flight Challenge at school or home and submit a video showing their solution.

The Autonomous Flight Challenge, dimensions, and point values are given in the Droneworks:MS Event Guide.

Droneworks: High School

High School TSA members in grades 9-12 research the use of drones related to the given theme and create a digital research portfolio. Participants also code their drone to complete the autonomous flight challenge off-site and prepare a video submission showing their solution.

A “Team” consists of one to two (1-2) participants with one (1) serving as Pilot and one (1) serving as Spotter.

In a Team of one (1) participant, the individual may serve as both Pilot and Spotter.

Pilot and Spotter can switch roles during the competition.

Two (2) teams of one to two (1-2) students per chapter may participate; one (1) entry per team.

For the given theme, teams create a Digital Research Portfolio explaining up to three (3) ways drones may be used related to the theme.

Teams code their drone to complete the Autonomous Flight Challenge and score as many points as possible within one (1) minute.

Teams will complete the Autonomous Flight Challenge at school or home and submit a video showing their solution.

The Autonomous Flight Challenge, dimensions, and point values are given in the Droneworks:MS Event Guide.

2021 Theme: Drones and Sports

“From practicing in the backyard to the Olympics, people in Oklahoma love sports. Identify up to three (1-3) ways a drone may be used to enhance the sports experience.”

  • Digital Research Poster (MS)
  • Digital Research Portfolio (HS)

Given the theme listed above, middle school teams create a Digital Research Poster illustrating and explaining up to three (3) ways drones may be used related to the theme.

A. Digital Poster must be submitted as a 2-page PDF.
B. Poster may be no larger than 22 in. x 28 in.
C. Color or gray scale is acceptable.
D. Any medium may be used. (e.g. digital, photographs, pencil, paint, marker)
E. Physical poster may be created, photographed, and submitted as a PDF file.
F. Photographs or digital media must be properly credited in Research Bibliography.

First page must contain:
1. Theme
2. Research description in 300 words or less
3. Research description may be handwritten or typed
4. Hand drawn or digital illustrations/photos (2-3)

Second page must contain:
1. Team/chapter ID number
2. Research Bibliography citing sources of research information and illustrations/photos

Given the theme listed below, high school teams create a Research Portfolio explaining up to three (3) ways drones may be used related to the theme.

A. Documentation materials (comprising a "digital portfolio") are required and will be submitted as a PDF.

B. The portfolio must include the following single-sided, 8½" x 11" pages, in this order:
    1. Title page with the event title, conference city and state, the year, and the team/chapter ID number; one (1) page
    2. Table of contents; one (1) page
    3. Theme Research Description(s); two (2) pages
    4. Research Bibliography; one (1) page
    5. Autonomous Program(s) - printouts of autonomous program coding; pages as needed

Droneworks Drones

  • Drone Regulations
  • Suggested Drones
  • Drone Coding

A. The drone must be programmable and capable of autonomous flight.

B. The drone (with all components attached) must not exceed the following dimensions:

a. 8 in (20 cm) width
b. 8 in (20 cm) length
c. 5 in (13 cm) height (as measured from the surface the drone is resting upon to the highest point of the drone, with all its components attached)

C. The drone weight (with all components attached) must not exceed 3.5 oz (100 g).

D. Propeller guards may be used if, once attached, the overall drone size does not exceed the dimensions listed above.

E. A computer/tablet/smartphone is required to program autonomous flight using MIT Scratch, Python, or applicable apps.

F. First Person View (FPV) goggles are not allowed.

Teams will demonstrate their drone’s autonomous flight capability.

Coding the drone for autonomous flight is done using a computer, tablet, or phone.

Programming methods vary by drone, please see the manufacturer web sites for more information.

Programming options range from blocks-based coding for beginners, including MIT Scratch and Blockly for PC/Mac to apps such as Tynker, Tello EDU, and DroneBlocks for Android/iOS tablets and phones.

Advanced programming options include Swift Playgrounds, Python, and JavaScript.

The Autonomous Flight Challenge, dimensions, and point values are given in the Droneworks:MS Event Guide and Droneworks: HS Event Guide.

Autonomous Flight Video

Participants will code their drone to navigate the Autonomous Flight Challenge off-site and prepare a video submission showing their solution. Details about the Autonomous Flight Challenge and point values are available in the Event Guides.

Construct the Middle School or High School Autonomous Fight Challenge at school or home

Artboard 12

Use Scratch, Python, or applicable apps to code the drone

Code the drone to score as many points as possible within 1:00 minute

Create and upload a video submission that includes:
1. A brief review of the autonomous code
2. The autonomous flight solution
3. A scoring recap

Play Video

Autonomous Flight Video Tutorial

Watch this video for some tips & suggestions on how to record your Autonomous Flight Challenge Video.