Students receive advice from a coach before the start of the competition.
Teammates preparing for drone football tournament
Some of the students playing drone soccer during the tournament
Students in action during soccer drone competition
The United States Government is committed to supporting programs that promote STEM education and provide opportunities for students to help create sustainable and inclusive economic prosperity in Nigeria.
On Saturday, the U.S. Consulate General, in conjunction with the Global Air Drone Academy and the Lagos State Department of Education, hosted Africa’s first drone football competition in Lagos.
Eight girl-led teams selected from 71 teams of public high school students from Agege, Alimosho and Ifako Ijaiye communities in Lagos Education District 1 competed in the hotly contested competition.
The Pace Setters team from Ijaiye Housing Estate Senior Grammar School came out on top in the tournament. Team Alisgrams from Alimosho Senior Grammar School and Team Alpha from Abesan Senior High School took second and third place respectively. The top three performing teams won a STEM Lab prize of $1,500 each for their respective schools.
In his address at the Grand Final of the tournament, the US Consulate Public Affairs Officer, Stephen Ibelli, underscored the importance of STEM education to Nigeria’s future prosperity and economic competitiveness.
He explained that the tournament was designed to provide students with quality technological learning opportunities and stimulate their interest in math and science, as well as careers in STEM fields.
“We are very proud to partner with the Lagos State Department of Education and the Global Air Drone Academy to not only bring practical and hands-on STEM education to the Lagos School District, but also to provide the opportunity representative schools to show off their STEM skills in drone soccer, the newest sport in the world,” said Ibelli.
US-based Global Air Drone Academy co-founder Eno Umoh explained that one of the main goals of the program was to engage underserved communities, especially young girls, on the impact they could have in STEM fields.
“We are beyond excited to be pioneering the all new emerging eSports in Africa. Drones are an innovative and engaging tool that can be used to inspire students to pursue STEM studies and careers,” added Umoh.
The drone soccer competition was a follow-up initiative to a series of drone technology and STEM trainings for 500 students as well as a capacity building workshop for 50 teachers on effective approaches to teaching subjects STEM held in 2021 at Lagos Education District 1.
Drone Soccer is the world’s newest esport played with flying quadcopters in protective plastic exoskeletons designed for full-contact play. Drone Soccer is the only educational robotics competition that is also an international sport, sanctioned by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in 2018.