FISTA Hosts Drone Racing Competition

Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 9:19 PM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - The Fires Innovation Science and Technology Accelerator’s drone race had the Central Plaza in Lawton a-buzz on Saturday at a drone racing competition.

“We wanted to bring drone racing to Lawton to kind of stimulate science, technology, engineering and math,” race director Seth Cumming said.

The public was invited to learn about the tech, and even try flying for themselves.

“Age doesn’t matter, there’s are really young ones here and there’s some folks that are more senior that are here and I see them all flying drones,” FISTA board member Albert Johnson said.

The idea is to show people there’s a fun side to the STEM field.

“I have my degree in aerospace engineering, I work as an engineer so for me it’s kind of an extension of the way my brain already works in terms of tinkering with electronics,” drone racer Will Valentine said.

Johnson said learning to fly a drone is a practical skill.

“So drones are effective in agriculture, on search and rescue, there are just other connections to real world challenges with many of these robots. This is fun, but how you do problem solving using a drone,” Johnson said.

But sometimes, drones are just use for fun.

“The racing kind of gives you a reason to go and practice and get better and you can quantify how good you are based on your time.”

If you’re interested in drones, the Lawton Drone Racing group is in search of new members and Cameron University is planning to host a drone flying course in the spring for people that want to learn.