This week, which represents Spring Break for many area schools, provides a chance to showcase the great local talent we have and some terrific corporate partners who are committed to enhancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education and careers in our region.
All week, members of area FIRST Robotics teams have been onsite, sharing their creations and showing our visitors their ingenuity at work. FIRST is a program for kids in grade school and high school that provides them with mentors, equipment, and tools to create a robot for a specific task. These kids then mix in their hard work, ingenuity, and innovation to come up with a robot that can compete in local and potentially national contests.
Since this week is National Robotics Week, we thought it was a great idea to give these kids a platform to show what they have created and teach our visitors about the power and potential of robotics and automation. Our partners at Rockwell Automation sponsored Robotics Week here as part of the company’s commitment to developing STEM leaders in our community.
In addition to the robots operating on the promenade all week, our educational labs have been filled with students participating in our week-long Spring Camp. Nearly one hundred 3rd – 8th grade students have spent their days this week gaining skills in areas like industrial design, freshwater science, or adhesive chemistry. More than 2/3 of these kids are from partner schools at the Milwaukee Public Schools, and they have been joined by representatives from City Year, who have helped run and manage our camps. The scholarship support comes from our partners at BMO Harris, who are helping a group of MPS kids gain new skills by encouraging them to get out and learn instead of just waiting for school to start again next week.
Spring Camp is also a sneak preview of our Summer Camp offerings. Throughout the summer, we offer week-long career focused camps in a variety of STEM and creative disciplines. These fun, engaging, and innovative experiences help kids develop new talents and probe possible careers during the summer, when research shows lots of kids are in danger of moving backward. Spots are going fast, but families can still sign up for our camps at https://www.discoveryworld.org/programs/summer-camp-2015/.