Tompkins County area students to build simulated drones at science day event

WHAT: 4-H National Youth Science Day to engage 100,000 students nationwide, including 40 students from Tompkins Co. and the surrounding area, through STEM and Drone Discovery Day activities

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 21, 4 – 6 p.m.

WHERE: Room 102, Mann Library, Cornell University,

MEDIA: The event is open to the media. Media members are asked to RSVP to Melissa Osgood in Cornell’s Media Relations Office at 607-255-2059 or

ITHACA, N.Y. – On Oct. 21, Cornell University will host a Drone Discovery challenge for approximately 40 youth from Tompkins County and the surrounding area. The challenge will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. in Room 102 inside Cornell’s Mann Library.

Drone Discovery teaches youth to use the engineering design process to understand unmanned flight and its applications. First, participants learn about aircraft types by designing and flying simple fixed and rotary wing aircraft; next, they discover how drones can gather data with a foam glider and keychain camera; and finally, youth explore the basics of coding, as they program virtual drones to solve real-world challenges, such as tracking the spread of an invasive plant species or searching for lost people or pets.

Earlier this month, several hundred New York City schoolchildren participated in a similar event at Public School 21 in Brooklyn as part of the 4-H National Youth Science Day. Kids were able to design and fly foam planes, code virtual flight patterns, and explore the practical uses of drones and other unmanned aircraft.

More than 100,000 youth nationwide plan to participate throughout October in Drone Discovery, a hands-on program created by a Cornell team composed of campus and county partners in collaboration with National 4-H Council.

National 4-H Council selected Cornell as the university partner for this spring after a competition among land-grant institutions. Across New York’s 57 counties and New York City’s boroughs, approximately 190,000 youth annually participate in 4-H programs offered by schools, clubs, camps and other locations – a youth development network underpinned by Cornell expertise. Administered by the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR) in the College of Human Ecology, New York state 4-H acts as the youth component of Cornell Cooperative Extension, focusing on helping young people to grow in the areas of STEM, healthy lifestyles and citizenship.

Melissa Osgood
office: 607-255-2059
cell: 607-882-3773

Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews. To get more information on the 4-H National Youth Science Day, see this Cornell Chronicle story.