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Student Summer Academies

Southern Research STEM

Drone Academy

Drone Academy is a free, week-long summer program that offers a balanced, blended experience integrating interactive STEM learning, student mentoring, and career exposure designed for 9th-12th grade students. Through hands-on UAV construction, flying exercises, and experimenting, students will gain the skills needed to compete in today’s drone-centric world. The required tasks combine engineering design and construction, 3D printing, and application of electrical engineering principles.


Students will get to hear from and network with industry leaders that utilize drone technology and computer programming in their careers. This includes the Jefferson County EMA, the Alabama Coastal Foundation, Sanders Aviation, Motorola Solutions, Inc, and more!




After months of carefully following and evaluating the evolving COVID-19 situation, the Southern Research STEM Education Outreach team has reached the difficult decision to cancel all Drone Academy camps this summer. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your continued interest in and support of our programs. 


Camp dates:

  • June 15-19
  • June 22-26
  • July 6-10 (Full – Girls Inc. Week)
  • July 13-17

Eligibility: Students must be graduating seniors, rising 9th-, 10th-, 11th- or 12th-grade students in order to apply.

Deadline: Applications will open March 2, 2020 and will be due by May 15, 2020.

Questions: If you have any questions concerning the application process or the program, please send them to or call 205-581-2381.


Drone Academy FAQ

What is the cost of Drone Academy?

The camp is free!

What are the hours of Drone Academy?

The active hours of the camp are from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Students may be dropped off as early as 8:00 AM each day and must be picked up by 4:00 PM.

Will lunch be provided?

Yes. We will provide lunch and a snack each day of the camp.

Where will Drone Academy be held? 

Drone Academy will be held in the STEM Education Outreach Center at Southern Research in downtown Birmingham – 2000 9th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35205.

Can I attend Drone Academy with a friend or sibling?

Yes. Please indicate on each person’s application the name of your friend/sibling and the preferred camp dates you would like to attend together.

Do you provide transportation?

No, we do not provide transportation. We encourage you to carpool if you are able.

I am currently in 8th grade, can I apply?

Yes. We are accepting current 8th grade students who will be in 9th grade in the 2020-2021 school year.

I am a graduating senior, can I apply?

Yes. We are accepting students who are graduating from high school in May 2020.

I have no experience with 3D printing or electrical engineering. Can I still apply?

Yes. You do not need any prior experience with the topics we will cover during the camp – you’ll learn all of these things during the camp!

Will the COVID-19 outbreak affect Drone Academy?

As of now, Drone Academy is scheduled to occur as planned. Any changes will be communicated via our website and email.