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Hilltop students get into technology

December 20, 2012
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Roughly 100 kindergarten through fourth-graders stayed after school last Wednesday, Dec. 12, to build robots in a special Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math program. The program was part of a STEM project to get kids interested in science and technology.

Wednesday's program centered around robots. Members of Canfield High School's Junior Engineering Technology Society visited the school to showcase the robot they had been working on.

"We brought our small Lego robot to demonstrate what one can do," said JETS advisor Don Crum. "This was the first time we have done this."

Article Photos

Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Kim Merlin assists her daughter Bianca in making her first robot in an after-school program at Hilltop Elementary School on Wednesday, Dec. 12. Bianca is a kindergartener at Hilltop.

He said he welcomed the opportunity to get younger Canfield students interested in science and technology. With his JETS kids, it presented an opportunity for the older students to help teach the younger students about robotics.

The after-school assembly began with a demonstration by JETS members of their robot they call "Clyde." The robot can be programmed to follow a dark line on the floor, or can be taught to chase someone, without running into them.

The short session captured the students' imagination and set them up for the second part of the assembly. After observing the CHS robot, the students broke off by class to build their own robot. Using a plastic cup, the attached three legs made of felt tip markers. Then they attached a battery holder and offset a small motor on top with an offset weight attached. When a battery was inserted, the motor began spinning and vibrated the cup, causing it to move.

The students then took a blank piece of paper, removed the marker caps and turned their robot on. They watched it move about and draw a design.



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