Concordia International School Shanghai's Phoenix Squadron, a student-led aerial robotics club, had a chance to present to the Executive Director of ACAMIS - Mr. Tom Ulmet.
The teams remarkable achievements caught the attention of Mr. Ulmet, the Director of ACAMIS (Association of China and Mongolia International Schools) back in April with their Student Spark presentation at the ACAMIS Tech Conference in Beijing which won the USD $2500 ACAMIS award. Mr. Ulmet made a special visit to the school on October 13, to meet with the Phoenix Squadron team members. This visit provided an opportunity for Phoenix Squadron to showcase their innovative projects and allowed them to share their vision for the future.
Last year, Phoenix Squadron, led by two grade 10 students Shreyas S. and Marcus C., participated in the ACAMIS Research Competition, which celebrates innovation and academic excellence among international schools in China and Mongolia. Project Prokyon, Phoenix Squadron’s submission to this grant competition, is a fully autonomous industrial pipeline inspection drone that the team worked on over the summer to build and code, led by Dr. Peter Tong, won first place at the grant competition. This exceptional project with industry applications was awarded a grant of USD $2,500 to further their research and involve more students in Phoenix Squadron, catching the attention of Mr. Ulmet that would lead to his visit.
During Mr. Ulmet's visit, the Phoenix Squadron team showcased a range of initiatives that demonstrated their technical prowess, creativity, and dedication to pushing the boundaries of drone technology. Examples included the Concordia 25th anniversary drone shot, Damoda drone shows, and the flight simulator.
One of their standout projects was a working prototype of a delivery drone. The team's innovative approach to utilizing easy-to-find parts and attaching them to a commercially accessible drone allows for the product to be easily replicated and allows for the drone’s capability to be extended. He commended the team for their ingenuity and recognized the immense potential of their work in making a positive impact on society.
In addition to the delivery system, the Phoenix Squadron also demonstrated its expertise in aerial drone show technology, the Damoda drones. With the Damoda drones, the team is able to create their own designs and perform with them in large events such as the Back to School Bash.
Insights and Collaboration
As the visit progressed, the Phoenix Squadron members eagerly shared their insights with Mr. Ulmet, discussing their plans for utilizing the ACAMIS research grant. The team expressed their intention to further enhance their drone technology by investing in state-of-the-art equipment, software, and training resources. They emphasized the importance of continuous learning and staying updated with the latest advancements in the field.
Mr. Ulmet, impressed by their ambition and dedication, offered valuable guidance and advice to the team. He stressed the significance of interdisciplinary collaboration, encouraging the Phoenix Squadron to explore partnerships with other schools and organizations to expand their research capabilities. He also highlighted the importance of documenting their progress and sharing their findings with the wider academic community. Especially when talking to a member of the Phoenix Squadron show team, Melinda S. about her involvement in the Damoda show design team.
Inspiring the Next Generation
Mr. Ulmet's visit left an indelible impact on the Phoenix Squadron team. His recognition of their achievements and his words of encouragement inspired the students to continue pushing the boundaries of drone technology and pursuing their passion for research and innovation.
The visit also served as a reminder of the power of grants and funding in nurturing young talent and enabling groundbreaking initiatives. The ACAMIS research grant not only provided financial support but also fostered a sense of validation and recognition for the Phoenix Squadron's hard work and dedication.
Written by Simon J. and Shreyas S. (Class of '25)