High schoolers engineer fun and learning at Sylvania MakerLab camp
Portland Community College hosted 40 high school boys and girls in July and August for the annual Robotics & Machine Shop Training Summer Camp at the Sylvania Campus.
The Engineering and Industrial Technology Division teamed up with the Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Program (ORTOP) to expose the students to the machine manufacturing area at Sylvania and the innovative MakerLab space. The groups, which included a girls-only camp for one of the two weeks, learned to use equipment that will help them build their robots for the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition.
“Working with new tools and technology can be intimidating,” MakerLab Coordinator Amy Petit said. “We wanted to remove that barrier and help students build confidence in their ability to design, create and innovate.”
ORTOP is the Oregon arm of FIRST that works to open doors to the worlds of science, technology, engineering and mathematics for Oregon’s youth by providing educational opportunities featuring robotics with special emphasis on maximizing the diversity of those participating. FIRST is a national organization that hopes to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership, which includes an annual robotics competition.
The group of young men and women were introduced to manual and CNC mills and lathes, 3D printers, vinyl and laser cutters, while also working with various metals and other materials. he camp was celebrated at the end of the two weeks with a luncheon that included invited guests, where the high school students showed off the things they had been working on during the week-long event.