The first New England Aerospace Robotics Competition, cohosted by the Center for Ethics in Society, the Computer Science Department at Saint Anselm College, and STEM-ED, was held in April 2022 and was recently featured in the Union Leader. The story features high school students reflecting on their experience in the competition as well as Saint Anselm College students studying Computer Science who comment on the valuable nature of this hands-on experience.

Juwann Laurore, a 12th grader at Brockton High School in Massachusetts, said the process of learning, designing, building and programming competition drones has been equal parts fun and frustrating.

"We had to go through multiple prototypes to figure out how we could catch this ball," Laurore said. "You put so much effort into this one thing, and it's wrong."

Despite the stress, the experience has been rewarding, he said. Laurore said there aren't really that many opportunity to learn in-demand programming languages like Python in school, or ways to learn it that are as fun as programming a drone.

Students worked on their drones for months leading up to the competition, which included both autonomous and semi-autonomous flying. 

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