The following was originally published by the Press-Republican. 

By Robin Caudell

PLATTSBURGH — “Drone Day” didn’t go off without a hitch on the first day of STEM Camp for students from Beekmantown Central and Crown Point Central school districts on Monday.

Clinton Community College hosted STEM Camp for CFES (College For Every Student) Brilliant Pathways, an Essex-based nonprofit.


The students were split into two cohorts: one to learn about STEM related college degrees and careers and the second to build a package, learn how to fly the drone and to deliver the package.

The latter didn’t happen for two of the teams because of the rain outside and non-clearance by the Plattsburgh International Airport to even fly the drone and their packages within the confines of the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at the college.

The plan Tuesday was for the two groups to switch to what they didn’t experience the day before and both fly drones at the end of the day.

The second day was set to feature four interactive STEM stations that students would rotate through. These sessions include “Sherlock Bones: Forensic Anthropology,” “Nicotine, Vaping, and Worms Oh My,” “Arachnophobia No More,” and “Environscapes of the Lake Champlain Basin.”


The Drone Package Delivery module was taught by Leif Sorgule, a technology and engineering teacher at Peru Central School.

“I do an Applied STEM class at Peru where they learn about engineering concepts, mechanical principles and then they get an Applied Math credit,” he said.

“This concept came from one of the little units that I do with Peru High School students. So, I kind of adapted it be a one-day condensed version of problem solving through some sheet-metal fabrication, some welding of plastic filaments to make parachutes, and then also how do we pilot a drone and what can it be used for?’”

This cohort of students were sorted into three teams: Team 1 — Nicholas Moschelle, Josh Bordeau, Odin Atwood and Logan Demarse; Team 2 — Peyton Stone, Nicolas Stokes and ringer Mallory Carpenter, a Brilliant Pathways college and career advisor; and Team 3 — Savannah Finley, Andrian Cepor, Patrick Rabideau and Chris Cepor.


Team 3 was the first airborne with their drone delivery package system.

“It’s alright,” Finley said.

How would you improve it?

“Professionally done,” Finley said.

“Not made by 8th graders.”

Team 2 finished their drone delivery second.

Carpenter is a college and career advisor for Beekmantown Central School.

“I work through CFES Gear Up,” she said.

“It’s a Gear Up grant that is in seven local schools and the Adirondacks. We do a lot of college and career readiness with the students, which involves a lot of STEM. This week we are doing a Robotics Camp at Beekmantown. That’s what these students will be doing for the rest of the week. We brought them here today to explore some more STEM concepts.”

“It’s fun,” Andrian said.

“At least I learned how to weld.”

“It’s pretty good,” Chris said.

“I like it.”


On Team 1, Atwood rushed to finish the package, while Demarse traced the parachute template.

“Clinton Community College is thrilled to be hosting STEM Camp for Brilliant Pathways,” Carey Goyette, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, said in a press release.

“Our talented college faculty have put together activities that provide students with hands-on and inquiry-based learning opportunities. While the overarching goal is to spark an interest so that they pursue STEM related college degrees and careers, we also really want them to discover the joy of STEM and to just have fun.”

The camp is sponsored by the CFES Brilliant Pathways program whose mission closely aligns with Clinton Community College’s commitment to help students find their own education and/or career pathways regardless of their background or socio-economic status.