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Published on Aug 10, 2012
Forty-eight middle school students are on campus at Stevens this month for two five-day sessions of WaterBotics Summer Camp, which challenges students to design, build, program and test underwater robots made of LEGOs and other components. Their eyes lit up in excitement and awe as their robots -- directed by wireless controllers they programmed -- completed increasingly-sophisticated missions, such as maneuvering through an underwater slalom course and retrieving wiffle balls from the bottom of a pool.
WaterBotics is an innovative program implemented originally in New Jersey classrooms that was developed by Stevens' Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE). Now also expanded to Ohio, Illinois, Texas and Kentucky, it is part of a $2.5 million National Science Foundation (NSF) program to provide hands-on experiences for middle and high school age youth in engineering design, information technology tools and science concepts, and to increase awareness and interest in engineering and IT careers.
The Lockheed Martin-sponsored camp, which was held in the state-of-the-art facilities of the Babbio Center and facilitated by a team of CIESE instructors and Stevens students and counselors, featured team engineering games, tours of the Davidson Lab at Stevens where students saw real engineers working with real underwater robots, STEM-related guest speakers including professors, scientists and engineering students, and of course, daily robot-building activities.