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Griffiss Institute receives $25,000 Community Foundation grant for Drone Camp

ROME, N.Y. — The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties announced it has approved an education mini-grant for $25,000 for the Griffiss Institute to create a drone-camp curriculum for its summer-camp program.

These funds will be coupled with matching funds from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information Directorate STEM Outreach Program to create the drone-camp curriculum and purchase the necessary materials for the camp, according to a news release from the Community Foundation and Griffiss Institute.

The Griffiss Institute plans to run two camps in the summer of 2016. It will also make the curriculum available to other organizations seeking to enhance their current STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities with a drone-learning component.


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The camp experience will immerse the students (the target ages are 13-18) in UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) research at AFRL, UAS testing at the Griffiss International Airport, and UAS educational opportunities at Mohawk Valley Community College, the release stated.

The camp will focus on UAS concepts that combine classroom training with hands-on experience. The classroom instruction will focus on the safety of use, (the FAA’s Know Before You Fly Initiative), and scientific principles of flight. Students will assemble a quadcopter and learn the science of aerodynamics and radio-controlled vehicles, the release stated.

“The activities in this program are designed to give students a competitive advantage to entering aviation fields by giving them a solid foundation of science, mathematics, and communication skills, and introducing them to cutting-edge aircraft technologies, the Community Foundation and Griffiss Institute said.

The camp will close on Friday with an event allowing the students to fly their drone through an obstacle course.

“The camp has been designed to excite students’ interest in STEM, focusing on aviation and the high-growth field of unmanned aerial systems, and will introduce students to the local employment opportunities in UAS and aviation fields,” the organizations said.

One camp will be held July 18-22, and the other runs from Aug. 8-12. Those seeking more information or to register, can find more information on the Griffiss Institute website.

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