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Drones are part of curriculum at Wimauma Community Academy

WCA kids operating drone from Scott March 2022

IMMOKALEE AND WIMAUMA (March 15) – RCMA announces that Corteva Agriscience out of Myakka City donated $5,000 to RCMA for a STEM program using drones at its K-8 Wimauma Community Academy. The money will fund the purchase of six DJI Mini 2 drones.

RCMA IT Director Scott Olson, a Tampa resident who expects to become a licensed drone pilot by the end of 2022, leads the RCMA Drone Flight Academy at the school. One goal of the club is to have members become licensed drone operators before they enter high school, to help encourage them to pursue careers that use drones. These opportunities include jobs in the film industry and TV production, agriculture, and even commercial pilots.

Corteva made the donation because of its long partnership with the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA), which runs an Emerging Leader Development Program (ELDP). RCMA board member Sonia Tighe runs the ELDP, and two Corteva employees in the program toured  RCMA during an ELDP visit to Wimauma Community Academy.

“As a company, we are heavy invested in community betterment activities, including advancement of agriculture through science and education with a focus on STEM programs, increasing the understanding of modern agriculture especially among youth, and improving food security in the communities we are a part of around the globe,” says Joshua H. Temple, Ph.D., field sciences leader-Eastern U.S. crops with Corteva. “By supporting STEM initiatives such as the RCMA drone program, we hope to invest in the lives that will one day be the future of agriculture, and even our company.”

Corteva has an extensive drone program that supports its sales, marketing, and research and development activities in numerous key crops around the globe.

RCMA’s Drone Flight Academy started in 2021 with five members and one drone. The club meets once a week during the summer. In the club’s first year, students learned the basics of safe drone operation and ended the class showcasing images they had taken using the drone.

“The club provides an opportunity that most kids don’t even get at a high school level and opens their eyes to career ideas they may have never thought about,” says Olson.

Representatives from Corteva visited Wimauma Community Academy in January to present the company’s check to RCMA board members Linda Miles-Adams and Sonia Tighe, principal Mark Haggett, and Scott Olson.

“It’s incredible to see the extent to which the Wimauma Community Academy invests in the children to prepare them not only for success in their future education, but also in their community,” Temple says. “From the extensive bilingual program to the extracurricular activities, we were very impressed by the types of students and future leaders the academy is training.”

About RCMA

Established in 1965, RCMA is Florida’s largest non-profit provider of quality early childhood education and family-support services. Headquartered in Immokalee, RCMA serves people in rural areas living in poverty, primarily migrant and agriculture working families. RCMA operates 65 child development centers and two charter schools, and partners with 19 family child care homes and several afterschool care programs in 21 Florida counties. The organization employs 1,600 people, provides child care and education to more than 5,500 children each year, and has more than 50,000 alumni. Learn more at rcma.org.

About Corteva Agriscience

Corteva, Inc. (NYSE: CTVA) is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that combines industry-leading innovation, high-touch customer engagement and operational execution to profitably deliver solutions for the world’s most pressing agriculture challenges. Corteva generates advantaged market preference through its unique distribution strategy, together with its balanced and globally diverse mix of seed, crop protection, and digital products and services. With some of the most recognized brands in agriculture and a technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the Company is committed to maximizing productivity for farmers, while working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfills its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. More information can be found at www.corteva.com.