If it’s summer, it’s time to enroll in one of the hottest STEM (Science, Technology Engineering, Mathematics) based camps offered in the region. FLATE is offering several camps for middle and high school students that explores STEM-related topics and their relation to robotics, automation and alternative energy. The robotics camps will be held in Hillsborough Community College in Brandon, and are designed to introduce middle and high school students to the world of robotics, and explore its applications in both industrial and personal settings.
During this exciting program, students will learn how to reconfigure LEGO MINDSTORMS Robots, and program them to follow specific commands. Campers will be part of several robotic team challenges, explore design techniques, and learn how to produce prototype parts using 3D printers. Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director of FLATE says the summer camps are a regional favorite, and have become FLATE’s staple summer offering. The camps capture the interest of middle and high school students by following the current trend of robotic applications used throughout the entertainment media.
The curriculum is a mixture of Lego educational materials that are integrated with Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) subjects and modern manufacturing, and are conducted in a competitive problem solving environment. Campers also develop a knowledge base of modern manufacturing, robotics design and programming while adding to team building experiences. “In particular, FLATE and HCC are reaching out to girls to continue to build their interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics” Barger said.
Indeed, FLATE’s energy camp is part of a network of energy camps being offered simultaneously at Tallahassee Community College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, and Brevard Community College. They are made possible through a partnership between FLATE and FESC which is a consortium of Florida universities established by the Florida Legislature. FLATE and FESC are also working in collaboration with the National Science Foundation-funded Energy Systems Technology Technicians (EST²) project team to design a new specialization for the engineering technology degree and associated college credit certificate. “As the production of renewable energy continues to grow, camps like this help educate tomorrow’s citizens about issues that will directly impact them/their environment in the future" Stokes said.
For more in-depth information on FLATE’s camps visit www.fl-ate.org/projects/camps.html, and www.madeinflorida.org. To enroll in the robotics camp contact Desh Bagley, camp director at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on the energy camp contact Nina Stokes at email@example.com, or visit FLATER’s press room.