RCBI promotes STEM through drone awards

Marshall University’s Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) will engage more than 450 students across 11 West Virginia counties in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math with the donation of drone kits to groups across the state.

RCBI announced this week that it will award drones to 17 groups that have agreed to compete in state aerial robotics competitions. Recipients were selected based on several factors that include the number of children served and a commitment to engage more girls and other underrepresented youth in STEM endeavors.

The donations were made possible through the generous support of the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium. “At RCBI we recognize the importance of engaging young people in STEM in hopes that they eventually might pursue careers in these vitally important fields,” said Deacon Stone, who oversees STEM education outreach at RCBI. “We owe a debt of gratitude to the Space Grant Consortium, which has been a strong supporter and champion of our efforts for many years.”

This year’s winners of CoDrone EDU kits are:

Barboursville Middle School, Our Lady of Fatima Parish School, Positive People Association, Unlimited Future and a homeschooling group led by Thomas Bowen, all of Cabell County; Mountain View Christian School of Fayette County; Hancock County 4-H of Hancock County; a student team led by Karen Bradley of Kanawha County; WVU Extension Service/West Hamlin Go-Getters 4-H Club of Lincoln County; North Marion Robotics Club of Marion County; South Middle School of Monongalia County; Preston County Gifted Program of Preston County; Putnam Area Robotics Team of Putnam County; Tolsia High School and Fort Gay Pre-K through 8, both of Wayne County; and Paden City High School and Valley Robotics of Wetzel County.

Teams can hone their skills by competing in a series of REC Aerial Drone Competitions across West Virginia. The first event of the upcoming season will occur Dec. 4 at Tri-State Airport in Huntington and is sponsored by RCBI. For more information, contact Skyler Clagg at or 681.203.6939.

– October 27, 2022

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