Summer STEM Camps – Volunteers Needed!

Over a decade ago, FLATE developed a 5-day summer robotics camp for middle school students. Over the year, FLATE developed more advanced camps and a number of resources for these important summer programs to engage students in fun enriching programs that also nurture teamwork, communication, self-confidence, and problem-solving skills. FLATE partnered with many Florida schools and colleges to start their own programs using robotics or other STEM-focused technologies. FLATE continues to support these summer programs and encourages professionals to identify local sessions and volunteer to share information about great careers in manufacturing and regional companies with any STEM campers.  

Below are just a few summer programs in Florida. There are lots more and you can find most of the local camps online, in neighborhood newspapers, at community centers, schools, and other local news outlets. Most camps are interested in having industry professionals participate. Find a local camp and volunteer to visit it this summer. Share the excitement of manufacturing and make an impact on eager campers this summer. 

North Florida College STEM SEALS 

The STEM SEALS (Sea, Air and Land) "Summer Institute" at NFC July 12-17. We are hoping our final day may allow some F2F student challenges with the Rover cars, Boats, and Drones after they have completed the weeklong virtual instructional portion of the activity but that remains uncertain at this time. We did this last year also by setting up a control room in the science building lab area and hosting a full-day zoom meeting where we could answer participant questions. For more information, registration and, and to watch videos of the 2020 student designs and competitions visit the STEM SEALS webpages.  (Project funded by the National Science Foundation)


IHMC Robotics Camps
IHMC’s 2021 (Institute for Human and Machine Cognition) Robotics Summer Camp offers middle school students the opportunity to learn about computer programming and robots. Campers will work in teams to master Lego Mindstorms challenges. Sessions will be held at both the Pensacola and Ocala facilities for 7th-9th graders. More info can be found online.

NBT Manufacturing Summer Camps in Florida

 Nuts, Bolts, and Thingamajigs, the Foundation of FMA annually awards grants to over 100 educational institutions to support Manufacturing related camps for K-12 students across the country. Congratulations to the College of Central Florida (CF), Hillsborough Community College (HCC) and State College of Florida (SCF)  for winning these awards and offering these important summer camps for our next-generation manufacturing workforce!  

 Nuts, Bolts, and Thingamajigs, the Foundation of FMA annually awards grants to over 100 educational institutions to support Manufacturing related camps for K-12 students across the country. Congratulations to the College of Central Florida (CF), Hillsborough Community College (HCC) and State College of Florida (SCF)  for winning these awards and offering these important summer camps for our next-generation manufacturing workforce!  

I. College of Central Florida, 3001 SW College Rd, Ocala, FL 34474-4415
Racing to Manufacturing
June 14 – June 17, 2021
8:00am – 4:00pm
Ages: 12-15
Fee: $99
Camp Director: Lucy Torman,

This camp is supported by:
PMMI Education and Training Foundation
II. State College of Florida, 5840 26th St W, Bradenton, FL 34207
1. All Girls Manufacturing and Design Camp
July 12 – July 16, 2021
8:00am – 4:00pm
Ages: 10-14, Girls Only
Fee: $250

All Girls Manufacturing and Design Camp will feature hands-on robotics activities along with entrepreneurial topics. At the end of the week, campers will give a fun team presentation. Campers should bring their own snacks and lunches. All other camp supplies will be provided. A limited number of scholarships are available for campers demonstrating financial need.

2. High School Engineering and Robotics Camp
July 19 – July 23, 2021
8:00am – 4:00pm
Ages: 13-17
Fee: $250

High School Engineering and Robotics camp will feature hands-on activities in which students explore manufacturing and entrepreneurial concepts. Campers will bring their own snacks and lunch. All other camp materials are provided. A limited number of scholarships are available for campers with financial need.

Camp Director: Deshjuana Bagley,   More Info

III. Hillsborough Community College, 10451 E. Nancy Watkins Dr., Tampa, FL 33619
1. High School Certified Production Technician Camp
June 7 – June 25, 2021
8:00am – 4:00pm
Ages: 15-18
Fee: $0

2. Intro. to Robotics Camp – Middle School
June 15 – June 19, 2021
8:00am – 4:00pm
Ages: 12-14
Fee: $175

3. Intermediate Robotics Camp
June 21 – June 25, 2021
8:00am – 4:00pm
Ages: 12-17
Fee: $175

4. All Girls Robotics Camp
June 28 – July 2, 2021
8:00am – 4:00pm
Ages: 12-17, Girls Only
Fee: $175

Camp Director: Shirley Dobbins, 1(813)250-6578,

Engineering Technology Capstone Projects at Seminole State College

Seminole State College offers an Associate of Science, Bachelor of Science and short-term college credit certificates for Engineering Technology. These are great pathway options for students to grow in technical careers that support many of Florida’s industry sectors ranging from manufacturing to public utilities to research and design. Certificates include Industry 4.0-focused mechatronics and automation. These Engineering Technology programs are located on the Oviedo Campus in the Center for Engineering and Design. The technical expertise of students in the B.S. Engineering Technology is illustrated in the videos linked below.  Problem-solving, teamwork, and communications are all part of the daily experience for these students as they tackle their capstone projects, as is evident in the video links below.

Cecilia Larsson, Professor and Program Manager for Engineering Technology, says they use ScorBot ER-4U educational robotic arms and Vex Robotics for the Robotics classes, and programming these robots is central to the capstone projects. The projects are part of ETG 4950 Senior Design Capstone in the Fall semester, which is part of the Engineering Technology Bachelor of Science Degree, Mechatronics and Robotics Specialization.  The students on the three-person team project in the videos are now all working within the industry! 

  • Nathan Watkins - Systems Integration & Test Engineer for Lockheed Marti
  • David Courtney - Hardware/Software Integration Engineer at Leidos
  • Juldan Sharp - Rex Engineering Corp. in Titusville FL

Below are links to demonstrations of the Marble Machine Project and to a website hosted by a student from this class. Included is a video of the 2019 Capstone projects that Dr. Larsson’s students created using the robots, 3D printers to build needed components and various other lab equipment. 

  • Marble Machine Capstone Demonstration:
  • Marble Machine Capstone Project: 
  • Seminole State Colleges student’s projects for Mechatronics and Robotics: 

To learn more about the ET programs at Seminole State College, contact Dr. Cecilia Larsson. Capstone projects at all college engineering technology programs went virtual in 2020 and 2021.  Look for more student creations and inspirations in upcoming issues of the FLATE Focus. 

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Michael John Mullett Eastern Florida State College, Palm Bay Florida Campus AS Engineering Technology

When Michael Mullett embarked on his educational journey, his life was in flux. Back in 2011 after the economy crashed, he was unsure of the future. He knew he needed to make a career change and find something he could do until he retired. He decided to pursue an Associate Degree in Engineering Technology. Read about Michael’s foray into the program and how it has given him a renewed purpose in life in his own words.

My Journey into Engineering Technology 

By Michael John Mullett 

I started back in college setting my goals on pursuing a degree in computer science. I wanted to change my current career to something sustainable and, given my age, working on computers was the best career choice for me. When I started working at my current company three years ago, I intended to secure an IT-related position within the company, but instead saw a different path. Thereafter, I took a break from school and discovered something else I wanted to pursue. I changed my major to engineering technology. I spent a lot of time with industrial, electronic, and mechanical engineers and realized this is what I wanted to do before I retire. I am now 59 and can't 

wait to get started in my new career. All my classes have been fun. The teachers have been great, very knowledgeable and very helpful. All of them make you feel comfortable and relaxed.   

I am a “people person” so getting out and meeting older and younger people is great for me. My advice for students is to relax, have fun, and build rapport with teachers and fellow students. As far as work experience and/or internships is concerned, I was able to secure an IT internship at Health First Hospitals. As part of my internship, I did IT support and networking throughout Brevard County which culminated into a contract job which I gave me three years of experience. The hands-on component of classes I took at Eastern Florida State College gave me the tools/skills to be able to do what I needed to do for the job.  Upon graduation, I plan on securing an engineering-related position, and/or continue to enroll in certificate courses as needed at Eastern Florida State College.

The best part was I got the chance to meet many people. The teachers I met were so helpful in getting me through all my classes which at times were intimidating. The students worked as a team to help other students get through the challenging portion of the programs/courses. I have had such a good time going to Eastern Florida State College. Thank you EFSC!

Broward College Explores Options to Upgrade Laboratory and Expand it’s ET Degree Offerings

Broward College is exploring options for expanding its A.S. degree in Engineering Technology (A.S.ET) degree. Earlier in May, Director of FLATE, Dr. Marilyn Barger and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Broward College, Preston Steele visited Hillsborough Community College’s (HCC) ET degree laboratories. Broward has started the process of updating its ET degree offerings as well as its lab spaces. The plans may include a move to a different campus from its current location and the addition of the new supply chain automaton specialization to the current advanced manufacturing and biomanufacturing systems specializations. 

FLATE's ET College Network

Earlier this semester, Steele visited Valencia College’s new ET degree labs at the Osceola campus that will be supporting advanced manufacturing and supply chain automation. “It’s so helpful to see what other colleges are doing and how they offer courses, layout and utilize the labs,” said Steele. “Gone are the days when a full class comes at a regularly scheduled time to a
classroom, or lab, and everyone works on the exact same exercise or activity.” Steele noted faculty now have to be nimble and able to field questions and solve problems on many topics/ areas.

Most colleges offer hybrid courses with “lecture” materials online and lab sessions scheduled individually per equipment needed.” At HCC, the labs are typically open for students from 10 a.m. to 7 or 8 p.m. Students sign up for a time slot on a particular piece of equipment. Shirley Dobbins and Ron Smith, both ET degree faculty at HCC say this hybrid system works great for them and their students as it accommodates students’ busy lives juggling between school, work and family. Together with their lab assistant, Dobbins and Smith cover the open lab hours where they work one-on-one with students. “A big benefit is that we have time to mentor the students and help each one with the material that they need the most help with,” said Shirley Dobbins.

You can learn more about these programs and what their graduates can do by contacting Shirley Dobbins and Preston Steele, or visit the ET Degree pages on