Kids give tech a try at robotics camp
Share with others:
WINDBER -- It's all about technology.
Five members of Windber Area High School's Technology Student Association spent three days working with incoming fifth- and sixth-graders at the district's second annual STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) robotics camp where participants had the chance to design and create projects that incorporate STEM principles.
Thirty pupils participated in the camp.
"It gives students an idea of what they can do here and exposes them to TSA," said Dave Dzurko, a technology and engineering teacher in the high school. "They see these concepts in books, but they like the hands-on experience."
The first day of camp served as an introduction to STEM, and pupils assembled a robot out of a soda can and added movable parts. The second and third days consisted of using computer software to program a LEGO-designed robot.
"We provide them with challenges and progressively make them harder to solve," Mr. Dzurko said. "They work with a partner and it's a lot of trial and error, but they get excited and they don't stop until they get it right."
Marlayna Miller, 10, credits her older brother for getting her interested in TSA because he participated in the school's program until he graduated.
"He showed me the robots and I went to three competitions and it's amazing to see how they build them," the fifth-grader said. "I decided I wanted to do this, too."
She said she learned a lot at camp and enjoyed the building and programing process.
"It's all very interesting and fun," Marlayna said.
Although the district's TSA program has been active only since 2010, Mr. Dzurko said it has grown in terms of interest and participation. Two high school students are set to compete in the TSA national event in Nashville, Tenn., later this month.
"You have to grow with technology, and the earlier students learn it the better," he said.
First Published June 18, 2012 12:00 am