(WKBN) – A drone program is taking flight in Trumbull County. It will deliver fun and STEM education.

The Young Dronepreneurs Program will take students into the sky. Brookfield already has a very successful drone racing team that has competed nationally. The idea for expanding the program, and having 22 teams across the county came from Ed Mackiewicz.

“Starting a drone racing league for Trumbull County students I never thought and envisioned that it would be here. It still gives me goosebumps that we are at this moment,” Mackiewicz said.

Monday, the program received $650,000, and the money is not just for racing drones. It will also start teaching about drones in Trumbull County schools, at TCTC, and put the curriculum into middle schools. It’s exactly what former Congressman Tim Ryan recognized about the program when pitching for the funding.

“That is the kind of federal investment that needed to get made, in communities that are trying to grow in new sectors of the economy,” Ryan said.

The possibilities are numerous for drones, even outside of aviation. Law enforcement uses them. They can monitor emergency scenes. They’re used in news gathering. Also to check pipelines for leaks, scan the border, and same-day package delivery.

Now, students in Trumbull County are ready to get hands-on training, preparing them for promising careers.

“We gotta have cool stuff for our kids. They’re online, they’re getting things delivered to them in such a cool way. If the education system isn’t trying to engage them at that level, then we’re not going to be successful,” Ryan said.

This school year will be all about planning and recruiting high school students to participate in the program. It will begin next school year, helping students earn industry-recognized credentials.

“When you show kids the possibility of what their future could be, there’s no stopping them,” said Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio.