Article: Trio of Middle School Students Win National Competition

Trio of Middle School Students Win National Competition

Posted Friday, September 8, 2023
Three Bellbrook Middle School students have already distinguished themselves on the national landscape, earning the title of National Champion after winning a competition in May.
Aiden Colston, Andrew Bowser and Cooper Redfern won the Heavy Lift Challenge, sponsored by the Academy of Model Aeronautics. The competition involved modifying a ready-to-fly model aircraft to carry water to a fictitious fire-fighting scenario. 
The students devised a way to carry and release a water payload, learned how to fly the RC aircraft and conducted final demonstration flights. The students also documented their results in a video which was submitted to the AMA for judging. Middle School teacher Tom Bean and Dr. Keith Numbers served as mentors/instructors.
The trio came away with the top prize, receiving a plaque and an $800 award. 
During the competition, the students had to 1. Define the problem; 2. Design the water container and release mechanism, while keeping the system within the flying abilities of the R/C airframe; 3. Build the carrier and release mechanism; 4. Test the system; 5. Learn to fly the R/C plane and practice solo flights; 6. Complete hours of online modules learning about flight characteristics, aerodynamics, and even weather as related to flight; 7. And, finally perform solo flights including take-off, a 2-minute flight, landing, and delivery/release of cargo.
“The amazing thing is they did all this in about 30 days,” Bean said. “I think this would even be a challenge for most adults who have never flown R/C planes prior. They performed great at all stages, dedicated extra time and effort after school and some weekend time, and the results showed.”
Aiden, Andrew and Cooper presented the plaque to Middle School principal Mrs. Jenna Hill during a ceremony Thursday. Hill said the award will be displayed in a trophy case in the main hallway of the middle school.
"We are so excited to celebrate the achievement of these three students,” Hill said. “We cannot wait to see what they do next!"
Below is the video the trio created and sent to the AMA:

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