Today was another exciting day at the See Blue STEM Camp! Ms. Carolyn Crowdus, a graduate student in the College of Medicine, brought real human brains and a real spinal column over to the College of Education today to help students understand more about neuroscience. Her presentation was, “Got brains? A journey through the human mind”. Campers had the opportunity to hold and touch the brain and spinal column (with gloves on of course!) if they wanted to. They also completed sensory activities with colored pencils and a partner to explore the different nerves and effects of touch on the human brain/body.
In robotics, the students began programming their robots. They worked more on trying NOT to knock down their Lego figures (the goal was to give them a close shave), but also added in turns and basic robotic movements. They had a lot of fun programming and trying out new and different techniques with their robots!
During lunch today, Dr. Tim Knauer – Director of the McAdams student observatory, brought his special telescopes and the students were able to view various parts of outer space, including looking (safely) at the sun! Dr. Knauer also shared a wealth of knowledge tonight to campers and their families during the night sky viewing. It was a little cloudy, but there was still a lot to see!
We were able to somehow rangle all the kids together and get all 70 of them to look at the camera for the camp picture! Aren’t they a great looking group?!!?
More photo highlights today can be found by clicking the image below:
Today we welcomed seventy 5th and 6th from across the state of Kentucky to the 4th annual See Blue STEM Camp! We had a great first day of camp today! All of the kids enjoyed the activities. They were able to tour of the Vis Center as well as the Engineering Buildings. Dr. Bruce Walcott, Professor of Electrical Engineering, also had them build towers out of some rogue Lego parts.
On the robotics side the students got busy building their robots and then participated in the distance challenge. They had to program their robots to drive up to a figure but not knock it over. Tomorrow they will move into more difficult programming challenges.
Up tomorrow is Ms. Carolyn Crowdus, from the College of Medicine, who will guide the campers through the neuroscience of the human brain. Her presentation, “Got brains? A journey through the human mind” will help campers explore and learn about the vast intricacies of the human mind. Students will have the opportunity to explore actual brains and stem cords. If you prefer your student not to participate in this activity or if you think the activity will cause a reaction please let us know.
Tomorrow night we are planning on the observatory visit – watch your email for more information!
Check out the following link for pictures:
We had another wonderful day and the weather was great as well. We were able to view the sun today through the clear sky thanks to Dr. Knauer bringing over his telescope during lunch. We got out on campus and walked to the Minining and Mineral Resources Building for this viewing.
For our daily presentation Dr. Christa Jackson worked on spatial reasoning through several activities. She had the students blindly draw pictures based on their partner’s directions, make a 3-dimensional object from several 2-dimensional pictures, and design a bridge out of limited materials and describe their design to their classmates. We had lots of great bridge designs out of straws and pipe cleaners.
In LEGO the students worked on the first three challenges for the Green City board. This involved closing a dam and also raising a new clean energy smoke stack. The students had to build upon their previous days work to program the robot to complete all of these tasks.
Tomorrow robotics will get more difficult in terms of challenges. The students will have to navigate around objects in order to complete their tasks. Dr. Robin Cooper from the Biology Department will be presenting on neurobiology in crayfish. The students will be visiting his lab and working with his graduate students tomorrow. We’ll be sure to take a lot of pictures!
We had another fun, enjoyable day today. The weather was much better and we had a great presentation from Dr. Bruce Walcott
in the College of Engineering. The students worked on engineering design and worked in pairs to build motors. He finished his session off with a trip to the Environmental Engineering building and a tour of some of its neat features. I am jealous as I haven’t been able to get over there myself!
In robotics the students worked on programming the robot to move forward in the “close shave” challenge in which then need to shave a lego placed at a given distance. They also programmed for the maze in which the robot must follow a maze to end up in a box. The challenge is they must program it forward and backward.
The weather forecast looks good for tomorrow at noon, so we are trying to work in a short visit to the observatory for a daytime viewing. Dr. Christa Jackson will be working with the students tomorrow on 3-dimensional figures and spatial reasoning. She does a great job of transitioning between 2-dimensional drawings and 3-dimensional models. In robotics they will be starting the Green City Challenge. They will take all they have learned and program the robot to complete many challenges on the board. Each has a point value and it will culminate in a competition on Friday.
I just received an email today that my latest publication with Dr. Jennifer Eli (U Arizona) and Dr. Carl Lee (UK) has been published in their online preview. It will come out in print later this fall.
Check it out! We would love any feedback