Five Housatonic Community College students, Blake Bennett of Washington Depot, Brandon D’Agostino and Nichole Dineson, of Milford, Nicholas Saint of Norwalk, and Christopher Torok of Stratford, comprised the HCC team who competed at the Community College Quadcopter Challenge on Friday, May 13 at the Konover Center, University of Hartford.

The challenge, sponsored by the NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium, required that those invited to participate build a Quadcopter (drone) and learn to navigate and put it through its paces. Five teams of five students each will compete.

The students were offered two kits, one more complicated than the other. They had to build it from scratch, requiring ability in engineering, soldering, CAD software, 3D printing, and laser cutting among others. Then, they had to learn to fly it over a course that including obstacles such as towers, water, changing wind, swapping equipment, etc.

The HCC team chose the more difficult kit. They built it. They tested it at HCC. It flew just fine.

The challenge is designed to encourage community college students in Science Engineering, Technology and Math (STEM) programs, and to engage more community colleges in these programs.