Youngsters build, program robots at STEM camp
by JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Oct 13, 2013 | 1723 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CSCC Stem Camp
STEM CAMP student Jamie Wilson looks at his finished robot. Banner photo, JOYANNA LOVE
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Cleveland State Community College emphasized the importance of technological careers to local fourth- and fifth-grade students this week during its second science, technology, engineering and math camp.

“We get to build a whole robot, and then we get to program it to do special things,” Jamie Wilson, a home-schooled student, said. “I really like the Lego Mindstorm.”

After completing the construction of the robot, campers were challenged to program the robot to complete tasks involving lego structures in the “Green City.”

Peyton Orders, a North Lee Elementary student said his favorite “Green City” mission was fixing a broken dam. Jamie’s favorite was programming the robot to construct a solar panel for a building on the city.

Each of the students also said programming the robot was the most difficult part.

Kendra Edwards, a Stuart Elementary student, said programing the robot for a challenge involving a windmill proved to be the most difficult.

She said she and her partner had programmed the robot to turn sooner than it needed.

The camp closed with a presentation to parents and family highlighting what the students did during the week.

“I want to congratulate those students that are here today. You decided to come to Cleveland State, and you are going to be a better person because of it (rather than just take a vacation during fall break),” CSCC president Carl Hite told the students.

“We need people going into STEM professions, and I hope that you had such a good experience here that you will consider going into a STEM profession.”

There were 57 students who participated in the camp. Students were from Bradley County and Cleveland City schools or were home-schooled.

Many of the campers raised their hands when Hite asked if the students did well in math.

“You are the exception rather than the rule,” Hite said. “We really do believe that the success of this country is dependent upon what this country does with professions related to science, technology, engineering and math.”

Each student received a certificate for their participation in the program.

“You have done a marvelous job of putting something complicated together,” Hite said.

CSCC director of workforce development Rick Creasy said similar technology to what students used in the camp is used at the Volkswagen plant.

For Peyton, programing the robot was his favorite part.

Peyton said he had some experience designing games and enjoyed having a new opportunity to programming.

Jamie said he liked the programing and working with the wires involved with the robot. Jamie said he had wanted to work with the sets before, but this was his first opportunity.

Kendra said she wanted to be a part of the camp because she was interested in technology.

“It’s really awesome,” Kendra said of the camp.

She said she enjoyed spending time with her friends while learning programing.

Hite said the college hopes to offer similar camps at the elementary and high school levels in the future.