CNY Drones 2018 Indoor STEM-Based Team Drone Challenge: Rig Rescue!

We are pleased that so many great volunteers and organizations have come together to help make our new and exciting STEM program a reality!


Our region’s low-cost, multi-element, annually themed, STEM-based Team Drone Challenge was created by a diverse volunteer group of engineers, educators & drone enthusiasts through CNY Drones in the Utica/Rome area. This year’s Challenge, Rig Rescue, provides teams of differing ages & abilities (11+) the opportunity to solve real-world issues using problem solving skills, applied science and math, engineering, research & creativity. Teams of 2 to 5 members are drawn-in to conquer elements on a 30’x60′ indoor field in timed rounds.

NEW!!!  2/2/18

The first competition is April 15, 2018 with a new host and location in Utica to more adequately accommodate teams and spectators.  We’re pleased to be partnering with the SUNY Polytechnic Institute AMA University Model Aviation Student Club.  The student club is pleased to take on hosting duties in the SUNY Polytechnic Institute Campus Center Gym (MAP).  The Rig Rescue program is stand-alone, but can be used as a feeder for further competition through the Academy of Model Aeronautics.   We’ve scheduled informational meetings / practice sessions on February 16 and March 16 to help prepare teams.

Challenge Overview  

CNY Drones Challenge missions were 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).

The eight practices of science and engineering that the Framework identifies as essential for all students to learn and describes in detail are listed below:

  • Asking questions (for science) & defining problems (for engineering)
  • Developing & using models
  • Planning & carrying out investigations
  • Analyzing & interpreting data
  • Using mathematics & computational thinking
  • Constructing explanations (for science) & designing solutions (for engineering)
  • Engaging in argument from evidence
  • Obtaining, evaluating, & communicating information”


The Rig Rescue Story

A malfunction has led to a fire on an off-shore oil platform.  Your rescue team has been dispatched to navigate through stormy, shark infested waters to help secure the facility and retrieve platform workers.  Using the latest drone technology your team can attempt to assist in surveying the damage, activating fire suppression systems that have not previously been triggered, retrieve critical proprietary information stored on the platform’s computer drive, secure a free-swinging crane, and rescue workers.

Rig Rescue drone teams can attempt to:

  • Navigate an air corridor and obstacles
  • Assess the situation & take photos of key issues
  • Activate a fire suppression system
  • Land on the oil rig platform in 1 of 2 locations
  • Retrieve a hard drive within the rig structure
  • Secure a crane
  • Toss out flotation devices to those in the water
  • Rescue survivors in the water
  • Return to a moving rescue ship

Practice / Workshop / Info Sessions – Friday, February 16 & Friday, March 16, 7-9pm

Challenge FAQs

Manuals & Forms