The CREATE Lab Satellite team at Marshall University's June Harless Center is running the first of three summer Arts & Bots camps this week in Mingo County, WV. Watch the full TV story here!
This week--more than three dozen students in southern West Virginia are exploring the fields of science, technology, and art. Empty juice containers, shoe boxes, and toilet paper rolls aren't the most technical objects, but these recycled materials are exactly what students are using to build robots at "Camp Create" this week in Gilbert. "It's really just about engaging children in something fun and exciting that's technology based," said Tarabeth Brumfield, program development office for the Harless Center of Marshall University. Students are using computer programs to tell their robots how to perform different functions. "We learned what everything does and how to wire it," said student Dylan Glasscock. And students are loving every minute of the design process. "I'm really into this stuff and I love science in school," said Skyler Mounts, Camp Create student. Mounts has already gotten her robot's eyes to blink and the arms to move. She's even working on getting it to talk! "I think that this will help me a lot in science because I'm moving up to middle school, and I'm sure that they have a lot of projects like this," said Mounts. Camp Create organizers hope students are energized by what they're learning to help them excel in the fields of science and math.. "The great thing about children is they're not intimidated at all. So to put real tools, real robotics components in the hands of them at 7, 8, 9, 10, then that just gets them prepared for the content that they're going to need, gets them excited about what they want to do for the future," said Brumfield. And that goes beyond school and into the hundreds of career opportunities open to kids who go into technology-related fields. "I've had children this week say they're an engineer or they're an artist, but how do you combine those skills to make a job for the 21st century? So that's what these programs are all about," said Brumfield. If you'd like to check out to finished robots these kids are making for yourself, Camp Create students will showcase their work Friday, July 11th from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Harless Center in Gilbert.