Students get hands-on experience at Drone Camp

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VERONA — Madison-Oneida (MO) BOCES hosted its first Drone Camp, providing area students with an opportunity for hands-on exploration of drone technology, announced the Verona-based BOCES.

Among participants in the one-day camp were student teams from Vernon-Verona-Sherrill and Oneida, plus student teams from two CTE (Career and Technical Education Center) programs at MOBOCES and from the Alternative Education High School.

The camp allowed students to manually fly drones through an obstacle course, program drones to fly across a room, test flight simulation software, and learn about drone-related trends, research and careers.

They also had a low-tech session – trying to fly cardboard gliders and hand copters – to explore basics concepts of aerodynamics and flight, said MOBOCES.

One of the camp’s goals was to inspire students to study STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), said Maria Smith, director of the Mid-State Teacher Center at MOBOCES,.

Mid-State Teacher Center partnered with Project Fibonacci, where Smith also works, to offer the camp.

Project Fibonacci, a Rome-based nonprofit that focuses on STEAM promotion and development, has sponsored more than 20 similar drone camps in the region over the past four years, Smith said.

An overall goal of the camps is to help schools utilize curriculum involving unmanned aerial systems/vehicles – or drone – technologies, said Smith.

The camps also teach participants about the national air space and federal rules for both pilots and hobbyists using drones.

In addition to Project Fibonacci representatives, NUAIR, ANDRO and CNY Drones also sent representatives to work with students at different activity stations, said MOBOCES.

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