In 2016, CNY Drones introduced the concept of providing a low-cost, indoor Team Drone Challenge to students to help spark interest in the drone education and employment pipeline.  Development assistance, location of a host site & backing took time, eventually leading to a partnership with the SUNY Polytechnic Institute student club, SUNY AMA / AMA University Model Aviation Student Club #15104.    Six teams competed in April 2018 at the SUNY Utica Campus for Rig Rescue, our first annual Challenge.  For 2019, we’re introducing Forest Fury, based on a forest fire & rescue scenario.

For 2020, we’re already planning to announce an agriculture-based theme.  We’re establishing connections with groups such as Cornell Cooperative Extension as well as local farmers and drone tech companies working in the agricultural field.

Each year, CNY Drones will release a challenge with a theme-based real-world topic. Teams will design, build (or modify), program, and operate drones to successfully complete flights/flying missions.Points are scored by successfully completing as many of the task based missions in a pre-determine time limited “flight”. The points are based on the complexity of the flight missions.

Mission Design- CNY Drones’ Team Drone Challenge missions are created keeping in mind the eight practices of science and engineering identified by the Framework for K-12 Science Education, a blueprint for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Annual Themes

        2020 Agriculture Themed TBA

     2019 Forest Fury Season



  2018 Rig Rescue Season

We welcome new ideas, new mentors, new volunteers and especially – new teams  – as we grow from Central New York into other regions!   Your ideas are important to us!    Share your thoughts on how we can improve!  Contact us!