Next week, area middle schoolers will go “above and beyond” during SUNY Oneonta’s ninth annual GoSTEM Summer Institute.

The theme of this year’s camp is “Exploring Earth with Drones.” From July 22 to 26, the science day camp will let seventh-, eighth-, and ninth-graders from Otsego, Delaware and Chenango counties learn how to fly a drone, study the FAA’s drone flight regulations, and use drones to create 3D models and maps.

The program aims to foster interest at a young age in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, according to director Doug Reilly, outreach coordinator for the college’s A.J. Read Science Discovery Center.

“I’m really excited about this summer’s GoSTEM Institute curriculum,” Reilly said. “Participants are going to go in-depth with drone technology and see how it’s transforming a lot of fields, from agriculture to archaeology. Drones are a growth industry in this region, and we’ll be meeting with experts who’ll share with us some of the career opportunities that are opening up.”

Drones can go where we can’t and often see what we can’t, extending our ability to explore our world. Participating students will learn all about this revolutionary technology, hear first-hand from people in the field, and log flight time of their own. Their final project will let them remotely explore a local bog that is, otherwise, difficult to reach.

The GoSTEM Summer Institute is sponsored by the CDO STEM Leadership Council, which was established in 2009 by SUNY Oneonta, the Chenango-Delaware-Otsego (CDO) Workforce Investment Board and the Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego Board of Cooperative Educational Services.