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Haslett middler schoolers take home first and second place at world drone competition

Posted at 12:19 PM, May 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-22 12:19:14-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The sky's the limit for one group of Haslett Middle schoolers after winning first and second place at the Aerial Drone Robotics World Championships in Dallas.

“After all the hours of work–days of work, we finally got to the championship and as you can see it paid off," said Conor Womboldt a sixth grader who is on the Flying Phantoms team.

That’s Conor Womboldt, who alongside his teammates Jake Acker, Roman Gay and Niklas Celeski triumphed over more than a thousand competitorsfrom all over the world.

The four make up two teams; the Flying Phantoms, and Robots Rule.

“We’ve been practicing every Monday since September," said Jake Acker a seventh grader on the Robots Rule team.

The four have dedicated a lot of time to building and re-building their drones until they came out just right.

“Practices are 2 hours long. Usually at the YMCA where we fly, we pretty much run for four multiple matches," Acker said.

The Arial Drone Robotics World Championship took place earlier this month in Dallas, Texas.

Competitors are judged on a number of components like flying, landing, 3D printing and coding. The drones go through challenges like moving balls on a court and flying through hoops. The two Haslett teams’ were up against high schoolers and even ROTC teams with years more experience.

"It was just like a feel of over joy because we all put in like so much effort.. we really did it. We finally got what we were hoping for," said Niklas Celeski a sixth grader on the Flying Phantom team.

These three say they don’t plan on stopping their work anytime soon– they’d even like to make careers out of it.

“I think it would be really cool to use my skills in flying drones to help other people," said Celeski. "I’ve thought a little about police drone work.”

“It would be pretty cool to fly or use drones in search and rescue– that would be pretty cool," said Womboldt.

The three also wanted to thank their local sponsors here in the Lansing area— without whom, the journey and big win couldn't have been possible.

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