Bridge the Gap between
Tech and Sports
How do we lure kids away from their video games?
We have an answer and it doesn't involve a reset button! My name is Gregg Novosad and I'm the founder of GoDroneX. For several years now myself and local educators have been working tirelessly on a skills oriented drone robotics program. Perhaps you've seen us. We were at several EdCamps in 2017. Our Drone Clan Wars Championship was featured on the front page of the Daily Herald.
Last year our Championship headlined during National Robotics week. All the major network news channels were there at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry
Next year we expect to attend the VEX Championship in Louisville.
We are the only scholastic drone competition in the country, perhaps in the world! And it's all right in your area. I'm guessing you haven't heard about it yet. Well let's rectify that right now.
Competition is always a motivator for kids. Not just for the racing aspect but also for course design. Students are already thinking of what they can do to make next year’s course even better.
Often I find myself learning from the kids, instead of them learning form me – it’s pretty cool
Chip Finck - New Trier High School, Winnetka IL.
The GoDroneX program removed all the fear of starting a drone robotics program.
All the research was done, the correct equipment is all spelled out and his training is really geared to get the extreme novice up and flying quickly!
Nick Iodice - Quest Academy, Palatine IL.
Students enjoyed the challenge of planning ahead, problem-solving, repairing drones, and of course flying through challenging obstacles. I would highly recommend this experience for any upper elementary, middle or high school student.
Julie Nelson - Westgate Elementary, Arlington Heights IL.
Grades 4 through 12 can participate in our STEM drone program. It is the equivalent to VEX or the FIRST program but at a tenth the cost. The first year costs from $800 - $2,600 and can be maintained for $200 a year thereafter.
GoDroneX Program At-A-Glance
The program is based on first person view (FPV) drones. You have seen them before. The pilots fly the drone from a video feed from an onboard camera.
The program is constructed as a school club over one semester with 15 contact hours (1 hour per week with 3 half day competitions). Most schools get funded during the first semester.
First semester: Funding
January: Clubs & Drone Camps start
February: First competition
March: Second competition
GoDroneX does not sell any equipment but you can purchase the equipment from any retailer you choose. Budget $1,400 for 4 drones, goggles, batteries, chargers and spare parts for 1 year. $800 is the minimum amount to compete with (3 Starter Kits).
In conjunction with our retail partner we offer a turn-key Jump Start program at $2,600 which includes:
(1) Build Pack: assemble a drone and program flights with Scratch visual programming language
(4) Starter Packs: drones, goggles, etc. Enough for two teams.(2) Drone Camps: half day training sessions at your school for both teachers and students
We also do full equipment prep with Jump Start.
We take all the money from training and use it fund the Championship. There are no corporate sponsors at this time.
The GoDroneX 5 Step Approach
FLY. REPAIR. TRAIN. COMPETE. BUILD.
Our approach addresses four constraints:
1) talent: it takes skill to fly FPV drones
2) time: we only have 15 contact hours
3) money: we have a minimal budget
4) experience: teachers don't have know-how or time to learn the details of drone building
Step 1) FLY. It takes 20 flights (10 contact hours) to become proficient (Junior Varsity). Longer if they haven't gone through GoDroneX's Drone Camp.
Step 2) REPAIR. Students crash . . . a lot! The drones don't fly themselves. This is a skills based activity and that's what makes it engaging. You can always be a better pilot but first you have to keep you copter in the air. So students troubleshoot the four basic repairs (STEM).
Step 3) TRAIN. Having a competition gives practice sessions a purpose. But to succeed at competition takes strategy and teamwork. What's the pit stop strategy? What if something breaks? Are all the batteries charged? Organization and experience are key. Takeaway: there is more to it than STEM. Leadership is critical.
Step 4) COMPETE. Currently we have two competitions leading up to the . It's a big show. The course has robotics and lot's of lights. Drone Clan Wars Championship
For 2018-19 we are adding a robotics competition (Xponent Challenge). This let's more traditional robotics students fabricate their own creations. You can use existing robotics parts for this. The budget should be well under $100.
Here is a parts list.
Step 5) BUILD. Now that students and instructors have drone experience they can optionally build their own craft. This is usually a second year effort.
The Jump Start program significantly speeds up the learning process. We have 5th graders who competed near Varsity levels with one Jump Start session (4 hours on a Saturday) and 5 one hour after school club gatherings. If you can afford it then it is highly suggested. It takes a lot of stress off the instructors.
We have been around a while now
2016 Numerous EdCamps & summer symposium
2017 ICE Conference & First annual Drone Clans Wars 2018 Second annual Drone Clans Wars
2019 Attend National VEX robotics competition, IAGC, ICE, Third annual Drone Clans Wars
Quick Q & A's
1) Why not build the drone first then compete with it?
Cost: 4 times as much for a build-it yourself drone
Time: 15 contact hours to just build a drone not including any flying time
Skill: it is much more difficult to fly a DIY drone
Expertise: there is more to it than soldering
2) What's the minimum budget?
$800 gets you enough for 1 team (everything for 2 drones plus batteries and parts). Again, you can purchase the equipment from anywhere you like. We have a retail partner who sells the complete program.
3) None of our teachers know anything about drones. How do we learn?
Purchase the Jump Start program. If you can't fund it, then read the instructions and ask on our Facebook page
Purchasing the Jump Start program is what fund's the entire Championship program. If you are going for funding, request at least $3,000 which includes the Jump Start program plus a little extra for the Xponent Challenge, misc expenses and teacher compensation.
More Q & A ' s can be found near the end of this page.
I have been a drone race director for drone competitions featured on the Science Channel. I have orchestrated the only USA nation-wide adult drone competition. I have a freshman son and a sophomore daughter who both attend Palatine High School. I have seen first hand the challenges of females in STEM. I developed the GoDroneX Drone Camp training using my son as a test subject.
The program is engaging, safe and proven.
1) Click on all the links and view all the pages at GoDroneX.com
2) Think about who will be your club supervisor.
3) Get funding. Some schools have received all their funding through district specific grants.
4) Contact me or have me contract you!
We are reaching out to you now as we know that the lead times for this are long.
Watching students tackle the pressure during competition is very rewarding. Even more so is when they adapt after a few competitions and bring their "A" game to the Championship.
Students love it.
Parents love it.
Teachers love it.
And your school will love it.
Let's Light It Up!!!