Today was our second demonstration at the 2014 SIUE Engineering Summer Camp. The two 1-week long camps introduced almost 70 high school students to various engineering disciplines, computer science and construction management through multiple kinds of activities.
Earlier in the week the campers spent several hours working with and building Mindstorm robots, so they were already familiar with the basic concepts and parts of a robot. We spent a few minutes talking about FIRST, FRC, and how we as students design, build, program and test our robots. We briefly showed off our robot, and spent the rest of the hour letting the students drive the robot.
Our mentors also walked around the room to talk with the students about the kinds of engineering they want to study, and answered lots of questions about what its like to be engineers.
We did the same thing at last week’s camp, too.
After our session was done, some members of the SIUE Solar Car team invited us into their workshop, showed us their car, and talked about their new solar panel that they are fabricating. This was really great for our high school students to interact with college students to share experiences and passions for engineering and STEM, and to see that even though robots and solar cars are ultimately quite different, the engineering aspects are extremely similar.
We’re so lucky to be able to share our robotics experience with others. And while our goal is for our audiences to get a lot out of our demonstrations and talks, we know that we get just as much out of them.