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Courtesy of RCBI Evan Nelson, lean agriculture specialist at RCBI, shows off some the 3D printers being donated to classrooms across West Virginia as part of RCBI’s initiative to spur innovation in agriculture. Nelson, along with Deacon Stone will train agricultural educators to use the printers Wednesday at New Martinsville High School in Wetzel County.

HUNTINGTON — Buffalo High School is one of more than 30 middle and high schools in the state that have been chosen to participate in a Robert C. Byrd Institute agricultural technology program.

The school will receive 3D printers, other technology, and training from RCBI experts to spur innovation among agricultural educators and students.

Each classroom will receive a 3D printer, Raspberry Pi computer, an Arduino microcontroller kit and an array of electronic components that can interface with the Raspberry Pi and Arduino. RCBI will provide teachers with hands-on training in the use of the technology and related software, and offer additional online resources. In addition, RCBI will train teachers how to adapt the technology for agricultural settings.

"By equipping classrooms with this innovative technology and the know-how to use it, we believe agriculture students across the state will apply these technologies to solve problems and create new opportunities in the agricultural sector," Bill Woodrum, director of entrepreneurship and coordinator of Agricultural Innovations at RCBI, said in a news release.

The pilot program is an expansion of RCBI's Agricultural Innovations, an initiative that uses advanced technology to accelerate innovation in West Virginia agriculture. Funding is provided by the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, which recently awarded RCBI an additional $15,000 to help implement this new educational initiative.

Schools will receive the technology packages and teacher training today, June 19, during a gathering of state agricultural educators at New Martinsville High School in Wetzel County. Officials with the West Virginia Department of Education identified the schools most likely to benefit from the new technology and training.

The schools and their counties are Berkeley Springs High; Morgan; Braxton County High, Braxton; Buckhannon-Upshur High, Upshur; Buffalo High School, Putnam; Calhoun County Middle/High, Calhoun; Doddridge County High, Doddridge; East Hardy Early Middle, Hardy; East Hardy High, Hardy; Gilmer County High, Gilmer; Greenbrier East High, Greenbrier; Hampshire County High, Hampshire; Jefferson High School, Jefferson; Lewis County High School, Lewis; Liberty High, Harrison; Liberty High, Raleigh; Liberty High, Raleigh; Magnolia High, Morgan; Marion County Technical Center, Marion; Mercer County Technical Education Center, Mercer; Mineral County Technical Center, Mineral; Moorefield High, Hardy; Preston County High, Preston; Ravenswood High, Jackson; Ripley High, Jackson; Ritchie County High, Ritchie; Roane County High, Roane; Robert C. Byrd High, Harrison; Shady Spring High, Raleigh; Shepherdstown Middle; Spring Valley High, Wayne; St. Mary's High; Pleasants; Taylor County High, Taylor; Tygarts Valley High, Randolph; Tyler Consolidated High, Tyler; and Wood County Technical/Caperton Center, Wood.

For more information on RCBI's Agricultural Innovations, contact Woodrum at 304-781-1670 or bwoodrum@rcbi.org.

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