Summer Programs at the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education

Summer is one of the most exciting times of the year – school’s out, the sun’s shining, and kids (and adults) get to do cool things they wouldn’t normally be able to do during school!

This summer at the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education, we hosted a variety of programs for students in middle school and high school.

The first one we hosted for middle school students was the Mindstorms Robotics Program. Students spent two weeks learning all about robotics using the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 System. They worked together and learned how to build and and program a LEGO robot.

Another program for middle school students was Introduction to Programming. Middle school students spent two weeks learning how to program simple devices. They learned simple to complex function programming. They got to make electronic devices and program them! It was a really cool experience for the students participating and for the adults that were there to help!

Another cool program was the Crime Scene Investigation Summer Program for 6th and 7th grade students. The students spent three days exploring science, technology, engineering, and math to learn how each subject is relevant when trying to solve crimes! Students even solved a “real” crime scene and got to see presentations by professionals in the crime scene field!

The Rocketry Program was also a ton of fun! Middle Schoolers spent two weeks designing, building, and flying a model rocket from scratch! They built multiple rockets prior to the final model rocket, and throughout the two weeks the students learned a ton about what goes into rocket flight!

Quad-Copters are fun – especially when you have a summer program devoted to learning all about them! Quad-Copters have recently gained a lot of popularity as they are going to be used in a variety of places. Middle school students spent two weeks learning how quad-copters work and got to use quad-copters to go through an obstacle course!

The last program we did for middle school students was The Competitive Robotics FIRST LEGO League Program. This program lasted one week and prepared the students for the FIRST LEGO League Competition in the fall. Students got to learn a lot and build a robot!

Along with programs for middle school students, we also hosted programs for high school students! They were just as cool and just as exciting as the programs we held for middle schoolers!

We hosted a residential engineering program for 11th and 12th grade students. This program was split into two sessions – one for boys and one for girls. Rising juniors and seniors were able to explore the different fields of engineering offered at the Lyle School of Engineering. The first two (of five) days were spent building skills in the fields of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer programming. Then, the students were  assigned a design challenge to build a prototype to solve a real-world problem! The program ended with a project presentation. This program was a lot of fun for everyone!

The next camp we held for high school students was the Advanced Robotics (FIRST Tech Challenge) Program. During the week long program, high school students worked together to build a TETRIX robot. Not only did they build awesome robots, they also learned to program their robots autonomously and with remote controls!

We also hosted a Quad-Copter Program for High School Students. Students spent two weeks learning all about quad-copters, and eventually went on to design and build parts to add to their own using CAD software and 3D printers! Students learned the rules quad-copters have to follow, and were able to fly the copters through an obstacle course. The students even got to compete with one another to see who was better able to get through the obstacle course! Students and teachers enjoyed the program, alike!

The last (and one of the coolest) programs we hosted for high school students was the Space Launch Program! This program was two weeks long, and students learned all about space flight through the use of a launch simulator, rockets, and a weather balloon. The students designed, built, and flew a model rocket, sent a weather balloon up in the air and monitored the temperature and pressure of the atmosphere, and learned how to use a 3D printer, CAD software, and program sensors!

There was always a cool program going on at the Caruth Institute this past summer! Although, as with every project, there were some head-scratching moments, students and teachers all had a great time. We’re sad that this summer has concluded, but we can’t wait until next year to have an even better time!