Several engineering-related projects were completed by Mason County Middle School students during a recent Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics camp.
MCMS sixth grade science teacher Amanda Underwood said the camp is for girls of middle school age to learn about careers in the STEM field.
“They usually pick coding or robotics, usually something engineering related,” she said. “The groups work with video editing and getting the projects together. Then one day during the week, we’ll take them to businesses in the area that integrate different forms of technology so the kids can see different careers they could go into and see some real life applications.”
On Thursday, Carlson Software had a scavenger hunt set up for the students.
“They had different coordinates set up and when they went to one coordinate, it sent them to the next until they got to the end coordinate,” Underwood said. “Today, that prize was at the Parc Cafe.”
The camp is funded through a grant from the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative, according to MCMS sixth grade mathematics teacher Brianne McDowell.
“We received a grant and they have helped to purchase all of the equipment and stuff for the girls to have in order to create the projects,” McDowell said.
On Friday, the students will present their projects.
“In the morning, they will have time to complete their projects and in the afternoon, they will present their projects in a low-key way in which people can walk around and see the different ways they’ve been working during the week,” Underwood said.
McDowell said some of the projects included building a drone, coding robots to go through obstacle courses, building a computer and programming it, building a Ferris wheel type hummingbird feeder, building a pinball machine and other projects.
“There are a lot of great projects,” McDowell said.
Destiny Dow, seventh grader at MCMS is building a drone, but it will take longer than the week-long camp to complete.
“Right now, I’m just building the base of it and then going into the school year, I’ll start doing the battery and electrical stuff,” she said.
Dow said she wanted to build the drone after flying one last year.
“Last year, I flew the drone, so I’m a little advanced with them,” she said. “I just really like drones and I wanted to be able to build my own. The hardest part is making the pieces fit together. They have to be sanded down and sometimes they don’t want to fit together right.”
Bailey McDowell is building a computer and coding it.
“The computer kit came with everything I needed. There were boards, chips, motherboard. I’m working on motion sensors. I’ve programmed it so that when I put something over it, things will move, disappear and reappear. What I want to do is make it so when you put your hand over it and move up and down, it will play music.”
Maura Hartman, a seventh grader at MCMS, is building a Maker Bot.
According to Hartman, a Maker Bot is a hard drive that is put together.
“It’s made through block coding, so you put the blocks together and it moves by seconds,” she said. “You can move it forward by 3.1 seconds. At a speed, it goes from 100 to 150 to 255.”
Hartman said she is programming the robot to complete an obstacle course.
“I’m the only one who has ever done it,” she said. “I’ve built an obstacle course and making it go through it. The hardest part is probably figuring out where to start. Even if you outline where you have to start it, each time it will go differently.”
Hartman said she chose to build the robot, because she wanted to make it better than the robot she worked on with a partner last year.
“Last year, I thought it looked fun. I built one with a partner and it took us two full days. We were barely able to code it. This year, I wanted to be able to have better coding. It took me one hour to build it myself,” she said.