SUNY Potsdam Math and Science Camp Inspires Local Middle Schoolers

North Country Science and Technology Entry Program Hosts 30th Annual Summer Camp at SUNY Potsdam

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Students completed a “DNA strands” activity during the 2017 Math and Science Camp, presented by SUNY Potsdam’s North Country Science and Technology Entry Program.

POTSDAM, NY (08/11/2017) (readMedia)-- SUNY Potsdam hosted its 30th annual Math and Science Camp earlier this summer as part of the North Country Science and Technology Entry Program pipeline initiative. The camp took place from July 2 to July 7.

Thirty area middle-school students participated in the camp, which is funded through a grant from the New York State Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Access, Support and Success. The grant focuses on increasing the number of historically underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students prepared to enter college, and improve their participation rate in STEM and health-related fields, as well as the licensed professions.

Students from Salmon River, Massena, Madrid-Waddington and Parishville-Hopkinton central schools participated in this weeklong, residential camp.

While at camp, students stayed in a dorm room, ate their meals at the dining hall and worked daily in the classrooms and labs, much like they will when they attend college in a few years.

Classes in math, forensics and the physics of drone flight were held every morning. In math, students worked on skills to help in problem solving; each lesson dealt with being creative in applying mathematical ideas to come up with solutions to problems. In forensics class, students learned about how science helps investigators solve crimes. They studied fingerprints and DNA, which are used as scientific tools in the field of forensics. In the drone flight lab, students worked in pairs to determine how to best control and fly their drones. They tested their work against one another, as they battled to outlast their opponents in a flight through an obstacle course.

In the afternoon and evening, campers participated in enrichment and recreational activities. There was an admissions presentation and campus tour, a trip to the Wild Center that included a hands-on research activity, a chemistry magic show and a water filtration engineering challenge. Recreational activities included swimming, a campfire, canoeing, kayaking and group visits to the Roxy Theater, Market Lanes and Postwood Beach.

The culminating activity held on the last day of camp included a student showcase, with families coming to campus to learn more about what their child had been up to over the weeklong camp. At the showcase, students escorted their parents and siblings around to various display tables that held examples of what they had been working on during camp. The top student pilots also provided a drone flight demonstration for interested onlookers.

In addition to this summer component, the NCSTEP program at SUNY Potsdam also provides services during the school year. These include math and science enrichment opportunities, career awareness activities, internship and research guidance, study skills workshops, counseling, tutoring, field trips, cultural activities and mentoring, as well as post-secondary preparation (including assistance with financial aid, college applications, SAT/ACT preparation and waivers and planning for college visits).

For more information about NCSTEP at SUNY Potsdam, visit

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges -- and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit