FPV Club next to their model, the Spruce Goose

Sisters High School Drone Club Broadens Extracurricular Options for Students

Being a student in a school environment can sometimes feel solely academic. However, the creation of clubs in all levels of education can help open a space where innovation and the acceptance of new ideas relieve scholarly pressure. 

Timber and Tobann Bionda are brothers attending Sisters High School and bring the Sisters High School community closer together through the creation of SHS’s first-ever FPV (First Person Drone) Club and the RC (Remote-Controlled) Plane Club. Tobann and Timber created both of these clubs after moving from a rural town in the Swiss Alps of France. They describe the initial transition to the U.S. as difficult, but they quickly made friends and created the RC Plane Club to create a space for people at SHS with similar interests in aviation.

“In France there were activities, but none of them related to school. Here, some people take science classes because they have to, but clubs can spark interest to pursue future activities,” said Timber.

The first club the brothers created together was RC Plane Club, in 2023. It’s exactly what it sounds like; a space where students can learn about and fly RC aircrafts together. The club has already gained media attention from the local Sisters newspaper “The Nugget” after launching Spruce Goose, a model plane with a 10-foot wingspan, spending just one day building it in the physics room.

The newly-found FPV club, however, aims to teach its members the intricacies of FPV drones, and the thrill of racing them. FPV drones are a type of unmanned aerial vehicle that are equipped with cameras and wirelessly transmit a video feed to VR headsets. This type of drone is typically used for racing courses with the goal to overcome the obstacles with the drone as quickly as possible. 

After acting as teachers for the RC Plane Club, the Bionda brothers wanted to have the opportunity to learn about these new and progressive drones as students.

“With the RC club we had a ton of funding and 12 drones donated… we’re hoping that Tobain will lead the club to start racing next year, maybe even between other schools,” said Timber.

“(FPV drones) are an innovative technology that are a gateway into future technologies,” stated Dugan Draper, a sophomore who has interest in the club.

The FPV Club is just getting set up and is looking forward to teaching SHS students about drone racing, and hopefully introducing the interest to schools around Central Oregon.