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U.S. Consulate is using Drone Soccer Competition to promote STEM education, says Ibelli

By Christian Okpara
08 February 2022   |   1:30 am
U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer, Stephen Ibelli, has explained that the Drone Soccer Competition held at the Government Senior College, Agege, at the weekend, will help stimulate students’ interest in mathematics ...

U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer, Stephen Ibelli, has explained that the Drone Soccer Competition held at the Government Senior College, Agege, at the weekend, will help stimulate students’ interest in mathematics and science, as well as in STEM fields.

Ibelli, who highlighted the importance of STEM education to Nigeria’s future prosperity and economic competitiveness, added that the tournament was also designed to provide the students with quality technological learning opportunities.

He said the United States government is committed to supporting programmes that promote STEM education and provide students with opportunities to contribute to creating sustainable and inclusive economic prosperity in Nigeria.

At the event held on Saturday, the U.S. Consulate General, in collaboration with the Global Air Drone Academy and the Lagos State Ministry of Education, introduced Africa’s first drone soccer competition in Lagos with eight girl-led teams selected from 71 student teams from public high schools across Agege, Alimosho and Ifako Ijaiye communities participating in the keenly contested competition.

At the end of the contest, Pace Setters Team from Ijaiye Housing Estate Senior Grammar School emerged winners, with Alisgrams Team from Alimosho Senior Grammar School and Alpha Team from Abesan Senior High School taking the second and third positions respectively.

The three best performing teams won a prize of a $1,500 STEM lab each for their respective schools.Delighted with the performance of the students, Ibelli added: “We are so proud to partner with the Lagos State Ministry of Education and the Global Air Drone Academy to not only bring practical, hands-on STEM education to the Lagos school district but also to offer the opportunity for representing schools to show off their STEM skills in drone soccer, the world’s newest sport.”

Co-founder of the U.S.-headquartered Global Air Drone Academy, Eno Umoh, explained that one of the key objectives of the programme is to engage underserved communities, especially young girls, about the impact they could have in STEM fields.

“We are beyond excited to be pioneering the newest emerging e-sport in Africa. Drones are an innovative and engaging tool that can be used to inspire students to pursue education and careers in STEM,” Umoh added.

The drone soccer competition was a follow-up initiative to a series of drone technology and STEM training for 500 students, as well as a capacity building workshop for 50 teachers on effective approaches to teaching STEM subjects, which were held in 2021 in Lagos Education District 1.

Drone Soccer is the world’s newest e-sport played with flying quadcopters in protective plastic exoskeletons designed for full-contact gameplay. Drone Soccer is the only educational robotics competition that is also an international sport, sanctioned by the World Air Sports Federation (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) in 2018.