From designing new learning experiences and developing detailed plans to implementing innovative programs, the finalist teams have undertaken a tremendous amount of work. Through the Rural Tech Project, these five teams seized on the opportunity to empower their educators with new resources and deliver advanced technology education to their students. Their success over the past two years demonstrates that rural communities are powerful centers for educational innovation.
As the finalist teams await the grand-prize winner announcement, we spoke with them to understand their program outcomes and advice for other schools — especially as they look ahead to the sustainability and scaling of their work. All five programs are notably distinct, addressing the unique needs of their students and workforce demands of their local communities. Yet they share several commonalities — including an emphasis on hands-on learning, opportunities for earning credentials and college credits, extensive industry engagement, and strong willingness to iterate.
Explore the interview series to read reflections from each team:
- How iLEAD is eliminating barriers to computer science education
- How Louisa is preparing students for high-impact cybersecurity careers
- How Premont is blending technology education with entrepreneurship
- How Ravenna is rethinking agricultural technology education
- How Woodlake is empowering students with aviation skills and credentials
Looking ahead: new resources for other schools
The Rural Tech Project is working with the finalist teams to compile their lessons learned as a resource for other communities. For each team, we will publish a builder — a comprehensive guide covering program design, community engagement, evaluation, sustainability, and more. The builders will offer considerations for developing similar programs, with the goal of inspiring other communities to advance technology education in their schools.