SINGAPORE: This year’s Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition (SAFMC) was bigger and better than ever, with the most participants in its 15th year.

The SAFMC award ceremony was held on Saturday (April 6) at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). Mr Heng Chee How, Senior Minister of State for Defence, was the guest of honour.

The competition, organised jointly by DSO National Laboratories (DSO) and Science Centre Singapore, had 2014 participants in 634 teams competing across five categories this year.

“Throughout the years of attending the ceremony, my favourite part is always the opportunity to share in your journey of experimentation and discovery.

Your love for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, or STEM for short, and your determination to realise your big ideas are important traits for this competition.

But these traits are also equally important for Singapore.

STEM is a foundation and key enabler for many technological innovations that have advanced Singapore’s economy, society, as well as our defence and national security capabilities,” said Mr Heng.

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Category D1 (Man-Machine Teaming) champion, D’Bom

SAFMC started in 2009 and is one of the first competitions in the country to challenge participants to think truly outside the box through the wearable, collaborative, and swarming technologies for flying machines they design.

Category D1: Three-time Category D1 Champion Koh Niann Tsyr demonstrating piloting skills 

More than 20,000 aviation enthusiasts have joined the competition, open to all students and the general public, to inspire and nurture Singapore’s younger generations in Science and Technology.

It is also a step for aviation enthusiasts to see their dreams come true.

Category E: Champion SIT Team A, with their swarm of intelligent drones with bio-inspired algorithms

“Since its inception in 2009, we have seen the competition grow year-on-year. Even as the competition became more complex, students have not shied away from the challenge…

SAFMC has always been more than just a competition – it aims to provide students with the opportunities to learn and grow as innovators and to inspire and nurture youth interest in STEM,” says Mr Cheong Chee Hoo, the Chief Executive Officer of DSO.

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Open to all students and the public; this annual competition serves as an expedient platform for those who want to get one step closer to their aviation dreams.

Participants in the competition attend workshops over three months that sharpen their problem-solving skills. They also get to design and build their flying machines (from paper planes to drones).

The workshop culminates in Challenge Week, where participants demonstrate to a panel of judges what their creations can do.

Judges rate the aircraft based on flair, design, functionality, application of aerodynamic principles, and participants’ presentation skills.

“SAFMC serves as a dynamic platform for participants to explore their interests in STEM outside the classroom. Within this challenging yet rewarding environment, they are encouraged to push boundaries and embrace competition.

More importantly, the competition underscores that STEM is not confined to engineers and scientists alone – it’s a journey open to anyone with a passion for discovery.

This exploration and experimental mindset lay the foundation to nurture innovation and cultivate our next generation of STEM innovators,” said Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, the Chief Executive of the Science Centre Board. /TISG

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