Waynesburg, PA – Get ready to fly! Middle school students across Greene County, Pennsylvania, are gearing up to showcase their skills building, coding, and flying drones at Rural Wings 2024. This event will bring students from across Greene County together for an exciting day of career exploration, team building, innovation, and competition on May 15th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM EST at the EQT Rec Center.

This event is a collaborative effort between Greene County school districts, For The Win (FTW) Robotics, Innovation Institute 4 Tomorrow (II4T), and The EdVenture Group, Inc. Rural Wings 2024 is made possible with generous funding from the EQT Foundation and support from Remake Learning Days. The partnership, built upon the success of Greene County’s previous eSports county-wide competition, aims to create sustainable learning opportunities by introducing innovative ideas like drone programming into rural school districts.

“The continued collaboration and forward thinking, innovation mindsets of Greene County’s school districts demonstrate a strong commitment to preparing a future ready workforce,” said Amber Ravenscroft, Director of Innovation at The EdVenture Group. “We are grateful for the continued partnership with the EQT Foundation and Greene County districts, as well for new partnerships in For the Win Robotics and the Innovation Institute 4 Tomorrow in bringing this idea to life.”

While students today may seem to navigate technology effortlessly, the question remains, “Can they build it?” Rural Wings 2024 aims to bridge this gap, empowering students to transition from users to creators and developers of technology. Middle school students will learn the intricacies of building, flying, and coding the latest drone technology – the Hopper from FTW Robotics. Students will take part in school-based training and competition, culminating in the district showcase and competition on May 15.

"Empowering middle schoolers with drone programming not only cultivates technological literacy but also fosters creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking. It's not just about flying high; it's about lifting their imaginations to new heights. We hope to build further interest in both drones and aviation because of the definitive workforce need,” said Eric Gaydos, Academic Director at West Greene School District. “Through our partnerships, we can build interest and determine the scale of sustainability moving forward, with the hopes of filling high-paying and in-demand jobs for our future graduates."

Rural Wings 2024 promises an exciting and educational experience for students, educators, and the community. For more information about Rural Wings 2024 and The EdVenture Group’s broader efforts in innovation within Greene County, please contact Amber Ravenscroft, Director of Innovation at The EdVenture Group, [email protected]. Rural Wings 2024 is made possible with generous funding from the EQT Foundation.