What’s Happening this Summer?!

Every summer is super cool at the Caruth Institute, and this summer might be the coolest one yet! We are hosting a variety of summer programs for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and even teachers!

Below are a few more details about what’s going on this summer!

Middle School Summer Programs:

There will be multiple summer programs for middle school students happening this summer! We are looking forward to each and every one of them!

  • Mindstorms Robotics
    • The Mindstorms Robotics Program is a camp for rising middle school students in grades 6th, 7th, and 8th. This camp is an introduction to robotics using the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 System. Students will work in pairs to learn the basics of building a EV3 Robot and programming using the EV3 software. Pairs will work on different tasks and challenges for a showcase at the end of the session. The participants will learn how to calculate speed and distance using the circumference of the wheels and the physics of work, power, and energy!
  • Introduction to Programming
    • Programming is a skill that is vital to success, and it is also very cool. During this camp, students will learn the basics of programming a simple device. Participants will learn simple linear programs to more complex function programming with loops and conditional statements. Students will make a number of electronic devices and program them. They will program a Raspberry Pi with different sensors that they will be able to take home and experiment with further.
  • Crime Scene Investigation (6th and 7th grade students)
    • Students will have the opportunity to explore the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics behind identification and crime solving. This camp will consist of a crime scene, hands-on activities to help solve the crime, and presentations by professionals within this field. The participants will learn about fingerprints, cyber security, paper chromatography, DNA, and much more!
  • Rocketry
    • Rocketry Program participants will learn how to design, build, and fly a model rocket they build from scratch. They will build a variety of rockets including a match rocket, a water bottle rocket, and a solid fuel model rocket! Participants will learn about the physics of flight, propulsion, and space science. Students will also learn about the geometry of flight, and learn how to calculate the altitude their rockets reach. The camp will conclude with a rocket launch!
  • Quad-Copter
    • This camp is an introduction to Quad-Copters, how they work, and how they can be used. Participants will learn how to safely fly quad-copters, and maneuver them through a series of mazes. They will also be able to take home the quad copter that they use during the camp. Campers will learn about the physics of flight, and the technology behind these small but powerful tools.
  • Competitive FIRST Lego League
    • This week-long camp is an introduction to robotics using the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 System (for more information on the competition please see the FIRST website. This program is prepares students to successfully compete in the FIRST LEGO League Competition in the Fall 2017 season. Participants will build and program a robot to do tasks on the new field, develop a sense of what it’s like being on a FLL team, and provide a head start for the upcoming season.

High School Programs:

There’s a lot going on for high school students this summer, and we can’t wait to start our programs!

  • Residential Programs for 11th and 12th grade
    • This camp allows participants to explore the four main disciplines of engineering offered at the Lyle School of Engineering: electrical, mechanical, civil and environmental engineering, as well as computer science. Camp is five days and four nights in residence halls on SMU’s main campus. The first two days are spent “skill building.” Skill building allows students to learn basic theories and fundamentals of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer programming. After all students have completed the rotation, they are split into three to four groups to work on a design challenge, where they design and build a prototype that seeks to solve a real-world problem using their newly acquired knowledge! On the final day, students present their projects to an audience of parents, friends, and Lyle faculty and staff.



  • Advanced Robotics (FIRST Tech Challenge)
    • During this week-long camp, participants will work in pairs and learn how to build a competitive robot, a more complex ,and robust robot than LEGO robots. They will also learn to program their robot, both autonomously and with remote controls, and use their knowledge to complete different tasks and challenges with the robots. This camp will provide the basics of robot building and programming for students planning to compete in UIL sanctioned robotics competitions. Students will learn the basic physics concepts of work, energy, power, force and velocity.
  • Quad-Copter
    • This two-week camp is an introduction to Quad-Copters, how they work, how they can be used, and how to enhance their designs. Participants will learn how to safely fly quad-copters, as well as work in groups to compete in engineering challenges. They will fly simple quads, medium size quads and large quads that can lift as much as a kilogram payload. They will design components for their quad copter using CAD software and 3D Printers. Students will also learn the physics of flight and how sensors allow for controlled flight even outdoors.
  • Space Launch
    • Participants will design, build, and fly a model rocket they built from scratch. Students will learn about the physics of rocket flight with the aid of the Kerbal Space Program, a rocket launch simulation software program. They will then send a weather balloon up to 60,000 feet and monitor the temperature and pressure of the atmosphere as the balloon rises. Then using GPS sensor and Google Earth they will hopefully find and retrieve the capsule. During the camp they will use a 3D printer, design using CAD, learn to use a GoPro Camera and program sensors!


Teacher Professional Development:

There are 3 professional development opportunities for teachers this summer, and one of them is BRAND NEW! We are super excited to work with the teachers this summer!

  • Classroom Robotics for Teachers grades 4-8
    • This training provides an introduction to using the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 System in a classroom setting or on a FIRST LEGO League team. Participants will learn the basics of EV3 programming and building!
  • UIL Robotics Training FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)
    • Robotics is now an UIL activity! And that is very exciting! During this one week training, participants will learn about the fundamentals of coaching a robotics team in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). Teachers and coaches will learn how to organize their teams, understand project management for the season, implement the most effective ways to build and program a robot.
  • STEM for Middle and High School Teachers
    • During this BRAND NEW training for middle school and high school teachers, participants will be exposed to a STEM and PBL (Project Based Learning) based pedagogical framework that includes multiple hands-on examples and curriculum materials for integrated projects that can be translated into practical ideas for their own classroom. Teachers will learn what it takes to become experts on Quad Copters, Rockets, Weather Balloons, Solar Cars, Electric Cars, Robots and more!  Teachers will also be introduced to some essential tools they will need for all of these STEM projects. They will learn about Raspberry Pi microcontrollers, 3D Printers, CAD, electronic sensors, soldering, and other power tools. They will also be given the opportunity to use the tools to develop their own STEM project for their classroom!

We are SO excited for all the cool programs happening this summer! We cannot wait until these programs start and we get to work with our fabulous students and teachers!