STEM at Griffiss Institute

Embark on a Journey of Discovery with the Air & Space STEM Outreach Program

Welcome to the Air & Space STEM Outreach Program, where curiosity meets opportunity, and the future of STEM unfolds. Our mission is clear—to cultivate the next generation of scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and technologists who will shape the landscape of defense laboratories and contribute to U.S. innovation. 

The following camps currently have availability:

The following camps currently have wait list availability:

RI STEM: Connecting and Inspiring

As the local division representing the AFRL Information Directorate here in Rome, NY., at RI STEM we believe in the power of connection. By bringing together businesses, government foundations, higher education institutions, professional organizations, schools, teachers, and students, we create a collaborative ecosystem that fuels the passion for STEM.

Program Highlights:

Real-World Challenges: High school competitions addressing problems defined by senior researchers at AFRL/RI.
• Internship Opportunities: Annual Challenge Competition where students vie for paid summer internships at AFRL/RI and local companies.
• Access to Engineers: Bridging the gap between classrooms and real-world application.
• Career & Science Fairs: Exploring diverse STEM career paths and networking opportunities.
• CyberPatriot Competition: Cultivating cybersecurity skills through friendly competition.
• Beyond the Classroom: Providing in-person opportunities for students to enhance their STEM education.
• Real Skills, Real Careers: Practical skills application for a direct transition to STEM careers.

2024 STEM Summer Camps!

Application window will open at 12:00pm on Monday, May 20th, 2024, and will close at 12:00pm on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, for all camps that have reached capacity. If capacity is exceeded during the open application period, camp placements will be made by lottery. Applicants will be notified via email of their registration status. 

Eligible grades for each camp include students entering into the listed grade levels. For example, Grades 3-5 includes students entering into 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade in the upcoming (2024-2025) school year. 

The following camps currently have availability:

The following camps currently have wait list availability:

Sphero Camp will introduce young students to the basic principles of programming. They will learn to program and drive their Sphero Bolt. There will be an Introduction to Sphero and Programming, Design Engineering Challenges, Art Exploration, and Games. Programming concepts they will learn include move, lights, if/then, and random number generator.

Dates: Tuesday, July 9 – Thursday, July 11

Time: SESSION 1 – 9:00AM – 11:00AM ; SESSION 2 – 1:00PM – 3:00PM

Grades: 3-5

Max Class Size: 12 per session

Location: NYSTEC

Bring gadgets of all sorts to life with computer engineering hardware and software! Students will receive an Arduino kit with a multitude of sensors and electronic components that they will assemble into a system that they will program with the Arduino IDE’s C++-based language. Learn how to design, build, and program microprocessors and attachments to complete a task. At the end of the camp, students should have a good understanding of introductory computer engineering concepts. 

Dates:  Monday, July 15 – Thursday, July 18  

Time: 9:00AM – 3:00P

Grades: 9-12  

Max Class Size: 20  

Location: Innovare Advancement Center 

*This camp ends at noon on July 26*

Students learn about the physics and engineering of quantum experimentation and witness cutting-edge research. Build lasers, learn about superconductivity, and watch tiny, charged atoms (ions) trapped before your very eyes. Experience quantum levitation, learn how to speak the language of a quantum computer, and visit a state-of-the-art quantum laboratory to observe quantum mechanics in action! This STEM camp is a perfect fit for students who are interested in science, engineering, or computers, and will bring awesome technology and cool concepts to the next generation of young scientists! 

Dates: Monday, July 22 – Friday, July 26  

Time: 9:00AM – 3:00PM 

Grades: 9-12  

Max Class Size: 15  

Location: Innovare Advancement Center

*This camp ends at noon on July 26*

Engineering Camp is designed to engage middle school students in using their minds and hands to learn basic principles of mechanical and electrical engineering by designing, building, testing, and redesigning their own working devices. The curriculum combines guided lab investigations with fun, open-ended design challenges, emphasizing hands-on experience in solving practical engineering problems through creativity and the application of scientific ideas. Students will work in pairs using recycled or inexpensive craft materials and simple electrical components to build and test their own creations. No prior experience is required.

Dates Tuesday, July 23 – Friday, July 26

Time: 9:00AM – 4:00PM

Grades: 6-8

Max Class Size: 16

Location: NTROPEE

Students will be introduced to the Internet of Things and build on that foundation to create their own smart doorbell prototype. Topics will include an introduction to IoT architectures and devices (a camera, Raspberry Pi, breadboards, etc.), Inter-Integrated Circuits (I2C) device connections, simple logic processing (e.g. activating a camera using a motion detector), cloud connections, and other skills-building topics. 

Dates Tuesday, July 23 – Thursday, July 25

Time: 9:00AM – 3:00AM

Grades: 9-12

Max Class Size: 20

Location: NTROPEE 

*This camp ends at noon on August 2*

Students learn how to command robots to do their bidding. But first, students must speak their robot’s native language. Over the course of 5 days, students will design and build their robot, program it to solve challenges on a LEGO game board and fix their robot’s code, or even attachments when it inevitably does not do what they expected it to do the first time.

Dates:  Monday, July 29 – Friday, August 2

Time: 9:00AM -3:00PM

Grades: 4-6

Max Class Size: 12

Location: NTROPEE

Come fly with us! Students will learn how airplanes fly using Newton’s Laws of Motion, Bernoulli’s equation, and cover the Four Forces of Flight. Students will then see how they are applied by flying balsa aircraft and observing at actual aircraft. 

Dates:  Monday, July 29

Time: 9:00AM – 2:00PM

Grades: 4-7

Max Class Size: 16

Location: NTROPEE

Students will conduct aircraft flight testing in a similar manner done at flight test centersThey will assess the expected outcome, plan and conduct a test, and collect and analyze data to determine if their hypothesis is proven correct or not. Students will conduct takeoff testing by varying airplane gross weight and seeing the effects on runway takeoff distance.

Dates Wednesday, July 31

Time: 9:00AM – 3:30PM

Grades: 8-12

Max Class Size: 16

Location: NTROPEE

*This camp ends at noon on August 9*

Students will focus on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) concepts that combine classroom learning with hands-on experience. Students will assemble a quadcopter and learn the science of aerodynamics and radio-controlled vehicles while focusing on the safety of use (FAA’s Know Before You Fly Initiative). At the end of the week, students will fly their drones through an obstacle course at Griffiss International Airport. 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. Students will gain a competitive advantage in entering aviation fields by giving them a solid foundation in science, mathematics, and communication skills, and introducing them to cutting-edge aircraft technologies.

Dates:  Monday, August 5 – Friday, August 9

Time: 9:00AM – 4:00PM

Grades: 9-12

Max Class Size: 12

Location: MVCC, Skydome

*This camp ends at noon on August 16*

Students will get to learn the basic concepts of cyber security. Learn about the Linux operating system, networking, computer administration, malware, and basic scripting, with a security focus. The camp encourages critical thinking, applied learning, engineering methods, and reasoning. Cyber Camp is great for those students who want to get a taste of computer/IT technology and feel what it is like to manage a computer system.

Dates:  Monday, August 12 – Friday, August 16

Time: 9:00AM – 3:00PM

Grades: 9-12

Max Class Size: 16

Location: Innovare Advancement Center

Contact Our STEM Leads

Jennifer Marshall
Rome STEM Program Lead

Ben Graniero
AF/SF K12 STEM Program Lead

Jeff DeMatteis
AFRL/RI Test Lead

The following camps currently have availability:

The following camps currently have wait list availability:

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