RCBI to award drones to student teams

To engage more students in the STEM fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) is once again offering free drone kits to groups that agree to form aerial robotics teams and compete in West Virginia competitions.

Middle and high school students are eligible to apply for one of 17 CoDrone EDU kits. A parent, teacher or other coach should complete the brief questionnaire at www.rcbi.org/drone2022. Applications will be accepted through September or until all drones are awarded.

“These drones and the related competitions are both educational and entertaining, immersing students in STEM while also helping them build teamwork and problem-solving skills,” said Deacon Stone, who leads RCBI’s STEM education initiatives.

RCBI’s drone giveaway and student competitions are made possible through the financial support of the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium with assistance from NASA’s Katherine Johnson Independent Verification & Validation Education Resource Center, the West Virginia Robotics Alliance, Marshall University and dozens of committed volunteers.

In 2021, with support of the Space Grant Consortium, RCBI’s donations of robotics and drone kits benefitted more than 300 students, including more than 145 girls and other traditionally underrepresented groups and individuals.

For more information about the drone giveaway or any of RCBI’s STEM education initiatives, contact Stone at or 304.781.1659.

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