STEM Camps engage students in future CNY science & tech jobs


ROME, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – On Thursday, July 14th, local area students finished the 4-day Arduino STEM camp & AFRL/RI STEM Outreach Summer Program at the Innovare Advancement Center and had a chance to showcase what they had been working on.

Helen Rico, who is the Griffiss Institute STEM Coordinator says that in the next 10 years there are estimated to be around 7,000 new drone and robotic jobs in the Central New York and Mohawk Valley area, and we need the workforce to support that demand.

“The idea of the camp is to get the kids introduced to the technology and to expand their knowledge base, so they believe they can do something with it in the future,” said Rico “They love the chance to get hands-on experience.”

Sixteen students from various Central New York and Mohawk Valley schools, grades 9-12 formed into separate teams, were each given an identical “Super Starter kit” of components and were tasked with designing and programming a unique project. Results included a race car countdown timer & stoplight, a backup sensor/collision prevention system, an RGB color selector/color wheel, a joystick-controlled fan, a morse code send and receive between two Arduino boards, a distance measurement tool, a music box, a music box with multiple song selection, a reaction time test, and a thermometer with temperature display.

“Super Starter Kit”

Instructor Logan Prough says that the camp is available to most students regardless of their background knowledge and the first day of camp teaches students how to use the kits and learn what they need to know to finish the class. Teams came up with the concepts on their own and finished with little help.

“They formed their own teams and came up with their own project ideas. They did all their own programming. Some of the students have a background in programming, but there are no requirements to be a part of the camp. Anyone can do it.” – Logan Prough, STEM Instructor Griffiss Institute/Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson AFB

The Arduino STEM camp, along with other science & technology camps taking place this summer are free to the public and funded by the Air Force STEM program. The camps are available to local area students and give them an opportunity to engage with these technologies while having fun.

“The students love working with the Arduino boards and getting the light to turn on.  I was amazed watching them code to create the on/off switching of the light.  I think the best part is watching the teamwork and seeing their faces when they are successful in their endeavors.” – Helen Rico

LEGO Robotics Camp
Monday, July 18th – Friday, July 22nd from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Grades 5 – 8
Max class size: 24

The Drone Camp
Monday, August 1st – Thursday, August 4th from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Friday, August 5th, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Grades 9 – 12
Max class size: 12

Principles of Flight
One-day camp on August 1st
Grades 4th – 7th
Max class size: 20

Principles of Flight2
One-day camp on August 2nd
Grades 8 – 12

Quantum Camp
Monday, August 15th – Thursday, August 18th, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Friday class will be held in the Quantum Lab.
Grades 9 – 12
Max class size: 20