Michigan Works!…is UPward and Bay College Training and Development (M-TEC) teamed up recently to offer Lego robotics camp to teach local students valuable problem solving methods, engineering concepts, and programming skills in a fun and engaging way.
Due to unprecedented demand, all sessions filled up quickly. The increased focus over the past several years by many local organizations on raising awareness of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers appears to be paying off. The strong showing of camp participation has already led to expanded offerings of the camp in the future, as well as preparations for other new challenging and educational offerings for Upper Peninsula students in the years to come. There are many successful partners across the U.P. raising awareness about great local careers, as well as offering students opportunities to begin a rewarding career path leading to great jobs. Many of these efforts will be highlighted later this year at the U.P. Talent Summit hosted in Marquette.
The Lego Robotics system was designed to be simple and easy for children to use. Structural pieces snap together and come apart without tools, allowing for quick build times and easy modifications. A variety of gears, wheels and other accessories allows for complete customization of robots. The “Robot Brain” takes powerful technology and simplifies it for educational use. It is programmed via a tablet computer by students during the camp.
The EV3 Lego Mindstorms robotics kit were used for the beginner and advanced series. The beginner series is designed for youth who have had no prior experience with robotics. Students worked in teams to build basic knowledge of robotics and STEM in a fun learning environment.
The advanced series is designed for youth who have had some prior experience with robotics. Students worked in teams to gain a hands-on experience using the robotics kits creatively and independently. This STEM based curriculum provides an exciting opportunity to build upon previous knowledge of robotics and deepen knowledge of STEM careers.
This year the camps were led by Kimberly Grigg, from Michigan Works!, and her team of instructors. Kim is a Michigan Tech graduate and the current Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates Specialist at Escanaba High School, where she teaches a course on career development and financial literacy. Local high school students were offered a summer work experience by Michigan Works! and served as camp instructors to assist camp goers. Student instructors played an important role and learned many critical workplace skills during the camp. To find out more about the Lego Robotics Camp and similar future projects, call Robert Micheau at (906) 789-0558.