Week#1: Intro to Smart Lighting and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
In the first week, middle and high school students spent the morning sessions (9am until 12pm) going over the first 5 laboratory experiments (labs 1 to 5) with various experiments related to optics and communications designed by Boston University (BU). Since some of the students were from middle school while others from high school, the instructors covered different portions of each lab depending on the difficulty level and the age group of the students.
During the afternoon sessions (1:30pm to 4:30pm), the students learned about UAVs. They worked together in groups of 5 students to put together 4 quadcopters from scratch. The X525 quadcopters were purchased using donations from ISTEMS. They also got the chance to learn about Electrical Engineering concepts including the use of resistors, capacitors, and soldering to put together the UAV. Although the quad-copters were very challenging to control and fly in one week, the students really enjoyed putting them together.
The pictures below show the students working on their BU Labs using the Mobile Studio Boards: acoustic heart monitor circuit and sending text using Visible Light Communication (VLC).
The pictures below show the students working on their X525 Quadcopters
Weeks#2: Intro to Smart Lighting and Renewable Sources of Energy
In the second week, middle and high school students spent the morning sessions (9am until 12pm) going over the last 5 laboratory experiments (labs 5 to 10) with various experiments related to optics and communications designed by BU . Each student built their own transceiver board circuit at the end of second week and took it with them at the end of the two week camp. During the afternoon sessions (1:30pm to 4:30pm), the students learned about the different sources of renewable energy such as solar and wind power. They worked together in groups of 3 to 5 students to put together solar powered houses. They students learned about EE concepts including the use of resistors, LEDs, series and parallel circuits and soldering to put together small houses that are one to three stories high. The students used solar powers to light all the LEDs, the door bells, etc… in their small prototype houses. The students really enjoyed putting the solar powered houses together.
The pictures below show the students working on their LED based smart houses that use renewable energy (solar and wind power).
Week#3: Intro to Smart Lighting and Balloon Satellite Payload Design
In the third week, middle and high school students 12 from week #2 and 3 new students (11 males, and 4 females) spent the morning sessions (9am until 12pm) going over the laboratory experiments (labs 5 to 10) with various experiments related to optics and communications designed by BU . The new students were shown the first 5 labs while the returning students got the chance to complete any section of the laboratory experiments they didn’t get the chance to do in the first two weeks. During the afternoon sessions (1:30pm to 4:30pm), the students learned about the MDSGC’s Balloon Satellite Project at Morgan. They then designed, built and tested three payloads that each consisted of a digital camera and temperature sensors that were controlled by the Arduino Microprocessor boards. The students then walked across the campus to launch their payloads on a tethered weather balloon. The payloads were launched in collaboration with the Dr. Mary Bowden from Aerospace Engineering department of the University of Maryland at College Park. The payloads reached a height of about 150 feet and took photos and videos of the MSU campus quad for about 30 minutes before being pulled back down.
This outreach program was so successful that it was featured on the 6pm news on the local NBC affiliated WBAL TV station in Baltimore on Thursday July 12, 2012.
Here is the 2 minute segment that aired on the 6pm news on WBAL’s on July 12, 2012.
The pictures below show the students working on their payloads and their activities during the day of the launch.
Week#4: Intro to Smart Lighting and Design of a Rube Goldberg Chain Reaction Machine
The last week of the SYCS camp was dedicated to the Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) labs program. The STEAM labs camp is run in collaboration with similar camps at Arizona State University (ASU), Purdue University, and a high school in Trinidad and Tobago. It is only open to high school students at the three schools. The 17 high school students worked in groups of 4 to 5 students to design, build and test a Rube Goldberg chain reaction machine that is supposed to complete a set number of steps at each camp. This year’s task was to hit a nail with a hammer. The task was made more challenging by forcing the students to exchange their initial designs with the students enrolled in similar camps at the other universities using a video conferencing software and hardware. The students learned about team work, oral and written presentation skills , project documentation skills. The students enrolled in MSU’s camp built the chain reaction machines designed by the ASU students. The ASU students built the chain reaction machines designed by the T&T students. And finally, the T&T students built the chain reaction machines designed by the MSU students. On the final day of the presentation, the Rube Goldberg machine started at MSU. It was then sent to T&T by sending a telephone signal through Skype. The T&T students sent a similar signal to the ASU students who completed the final steps of the Rube Goldberg Machine and nailed the hammer into a board. Although the main focus of this project was to build the chain reaction machine, the students enrolled in MSU’s camp were exposed to concepts related to smart lighting and were able to incorporate the use of LEDs in one their steps in the chain reaction. The pictures below show the students working on their Rube Goldberg Machine and conducting their presentations using the video conferencing software.
Part I –Students working on their design sketches in each group and with one of the camp instructors.
Part II –Students presenting their design sketches online to other students enrolled in similar camps at Arizona State University and Trinidad &Tobago using a Video Conference System.
Part III – Final parts of the STEAM lab machines that were designed and built by MSU camp student participants