Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rockets and Robots and Math, Oh My!

Have you ever wanted to build a sumo wrestling robot? Now you can, thanks to a program at the Olivet Boys and Girls Club that starts up Thursday.

Have you ever launched a rocket?

Built a sumo wrestling robot?

Did you ever wonder why bridges don't fall down?

Well if you are a high school student in Montgomery County, there is a free program focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics -- or STEM -- available through the Olivet Boys and Girls Club at the Ricketts Community Center that can help you explore all those questions and more.

Professionals from two companies -- Montco WIB and Turner Concepts -- will meet with 15 to 20 students over eight weeks and be mentors helping to explore those subjects.

Open for students ages 14 to 18, the program begins on April 11 and runs through June 22.

Each group will meet for two hours every other Thursday  from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and every fourth Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ricketts Center, 640 Beech St.

The Saturday events will take place at Central Montco Technical High School in Plymouth Meeting.

Subjects covered include aerospace engineering; civil engineering, physics; mechanical engineering and robotics engineering.

Projects include:

  • An egg drop that will showcase fundamental properties of physics; 
  • A rocket project in which students will build model rockets in small teams and compete for best launch and innovation; 
  • A rubber band car project that will enable students to see the mechanical action required to move an object, to understand the difference between potential and kinetic energy and to analyze how a vehicle is affected by motion and stresses; 
A K'Nex Bridge

  • Building bridges using K'nex which will show how varied types of brides support weight and the differences between static and dynamic loads and;
  • Robotics competition in which students will build a robot to compete in the Robot Sumo Competition where two autonomous robots face off on a circular platform in a high-tech version of the ancient Japanese sport of sumo wrestling.
Director Jan Burgess said Tuesday that seats are still available and students can sign up at the center.

For more information, call 610-945-1020.

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