Kettering University is enhancing their STEM pre-college camps in partnership with a Flint elementary school to offer programs during the school year.
Thanks to a $40,000 grant from the General Motors Foundation, Kettering will be offering robotics and STEM day camps to students at Durant Tuuri Mott (DTM) this fall.
“We know that students who are exposed to STEM programs early are more likely to graduate and pursue a STEM career,” said Vic Pereira ‘90, plant manager of GM’s Flint Metal Center. “Developing young engineers and scientists will be a critical step in ensuring that our businesses and communities can find creative solutions to solve the complex challenges that we will face in the future, particularly in the automotive industry.”
The programs will be offered to students in first through fifth grades, who will come to campus and participate in activities in Kettering’s FIRST Robotics Community Center for 2-6 hours depending on the grade level.
“It will be very exciting for the students to be able to see the practical application of STEM education. It’s appealing for kids to be able to see all the pieces come together. Hopefully it will spark some sort of interest in robotics or science,” said Shelly Umphrey, Durant Tuuri Mott Principal. “The partnership with Kettering is a great way for the students to get exposure into science and engineering career fields. The more they are exposed generates interest into career fields they might not have known existed.”
Students will participate in Junior FIRST LEGO League (grades first through third) or FIRST LEGO League (grades fourth through fifth) activities, while adding other STEM activities into the mix.
The Junior FIRST LEGO League is a two-hour camp called "We Do Mechanical Objects" where they build things using motors, gears, pulleys and sensors. The FIRST LEGO League is a six-hour camp (including lunch) where the students build an EV3 Robot from a kit and then learn to program it using LEGO MINDSTORM software.
“The purpose of this partnership is to ignite a passion and to excite young students to get involved in STEM activities and to inspire and motivate lots of students and teachers to join and/or form FIRST Robotics teams to get involved in after school,” said Bob Nichols, Director of Kettering’s FIRST Robotics Community Center. “We hope to establish a relationship with the faculty, principal and community school director at DTM and other local schools to play an active role in getting kids excited about STEM.”