Friday 22 November 2019, Cairns Tournament of Drones

Tournament of Drones 2019 is coming!

The Tournament is a one-day event, designed to test students' teamwork, problem-solving skills, and analytical thinking.

It is for students from grades 6-10 (exceptions will be made for Year 5 students who have done a She Maps event).

We are on a mission to increase the engagement of females in STEM careers. Therefore the Tournament of Drones is designed as a space where female students can flourish and participate fully. Schools must maintain our set female:male ratios.

Tournament of Drones

Schools are required to...

  • Collect student entries and enter teams online.
  • Provide opportunities for students to practice their flying skills in the lead up to the Tournament.
  • At least one adult supervisor per school.
  • Transport to the event.

Schools are required to...

The important bits

Date: Fri 22 Nov 19

Time: Check-In - 8.30am. Finish - 2.30pm

Location: St Mary's Catholic College, Woree

Cost: $15 per student (Paid on invoice to each school)

The important bits

Prizes are up for grabs!

Thanks to the Cairns STEM Hub for sponsoring the event!

We will have some fantastic prizes for winning teams, which will be announced closer to the date.

Tournament of Drones

Entries are open now

Entries will be taken online only. Schools will be invoiced upon entry.

Team Composition

Teams are made up of three students with male:female ratios required as follows.

  • 1 Team from a school: At least two female students
  • 2 teams from a school: At least three female students (can be one all-female and one all-male team)

Total number of teams will be initially limited to 16.

Combined school teams may be formed where there are insufficient numbers from smaller schools. 

If an ‘all boys’ school wishes to enter a team then this will be allowed.

Team Composition

Tournament Events

The Tournament will involve some activities that have been designed to allow students to practice their skills prior to the day at their schools. There will also be some activities that will remain unknown to the students for them to problem solve on the day. 

The event will be using Parrot Mambo drones. These will be supplied on the day by us. Schools are responsible for drones for pre-event practice.

Modern Drone-athlon

Target Shooting

Using the Parrot Mambo target shooter. Requiring pilots to display stability in their flight, accuracy and a steady hand!

  • Total score from all three team members
  • 6 targets per team member

Fill the bucket 

Using the Parrot Mambo grabber tool. Requiring pilots and co-pilots to communicate effectively, show a balance between speed and accuracy with excellent flight skills.

  • Drop object onto target
  • Points for accuracy and speed

Obstacle Course 

Using the Parrot Mambo, teams are required to navigate an obstacle course in a set pattern - think Red Bull Air Racing, but with drones!

  • Cumulative team time of best run from each team member.
  • 2 runs per team member


This part to the event will require teams to develop a creative piece, this will be different from last year!

We will provide more details on Monday 4 November, to allow students time to start their planning.

Problem Solving

An event nominated on the day that will require teams to use their maths, geometry and coding skills.


Here are some questions we are getting asked. Here for everyone to know the answer!

What controllers are we using?

The primary device will be tablets for controlling the drones. Students may be given the option to use Flypads on some of the activities pending final entry numbers.

How much experience do the students need?

Not much! We find that the students pick up the flying of the drones very quickly. Students who have completed one of our programs will be more than capable. Even having one student who has done our program in the team and they will be able to support the others during the lead up in practicing.

Do we need to practice using Tynker?

Yes, we will be expecting students to do some coding via Tynker for the Creative and Problem Solving activities.

Do we need to supply any equipment?

No, we will supply all drones, tablets, and equipment required for the event. 

Students will need to bring their own food and water bottles.

School's will need to organise transport to and from St Mary's Catholic College.