A camp where toying around isn’t simply toying around

LEGOS ON A MISSON — Adia Bulawa, left, a 6th grader at Staley, and Kaitlyn Rabe, a 7th grader at Strough, were first round leaders of the Lego Mindstorm Robotics math, tech, and science summer camp held at the Griffiss Institute, 725 Daedalian Drive. There are three rounds in which teams gather points to decide the competition champion. (Sentinel photo by John Clifford)

The Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, in conjunction with the Griffiss Institute and Mohawk Valley Community College, are sponsoring a Lego Mindstorm Robotics Summer camp as one of the Griffiss Institutes’ Science, Technology, Engineering and Math initiatives.

Twenty-one students, ages 11-14, from throughout the region have attended the summer camp during the week, working on a Lego Mindstorm Mission. They learned how to build and program robots, tackle challenges and hone their robotics and project-planning skills. Additionally, they explored the use of various types of sensors, applied measurements and geometry to calculate robot navigation, experimental process and documentation. The goal of the camp is to give students an exposure of the various STEM fields that they could pursue in the future.

The camp is sponsored by the National Defense Education Program, with its aim is to encourage students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math degrees. In addition to having AFRL scientists and engineers teaching the camp, two local teachers assisted — William Willson from Strough Middle School and Courtney Huf from Staley Upper Elementary School.