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Dozens turn out for STEM Day at LHS

Snobot gets a workout during the 1st Annual STEM Day at Liverpool High School. Part of the team that created the machine includes senior Samantha Roberts, left, junior Tommy Williams, who worked on the robot’s programming, and senior Jeff LaFlamme.

Snobot gets a workout during the 1st Annual STEM Day at Liverpool High School. Part of the team that created the machine includes senior Samantha Roberts, left, junior Tommy Williams, who worked on the robot’s programming, and senior Jeff LaFlamme. Miranda Pennock

— Area students and businesses came together Saturday at Liverpool High School in an effort to show off innovation and technology at the 1st Annual CNY STEM Day.

The two-hour event was as much about showing off the accomplishments of robotics teams and science Olympiads as it was engaging students with Central New York’s industry leaders in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics — STEM —fields.

“This is where learning takes on a third dimension,” said Assemblyman Don Miller, the event’s presenter. “It’s important for kids to see education has that third dimension.”

The third dimension — when students take something with them beyond the classroom and give it real world application — was apparent as the large gymnasium was filled with projects that included robotics, green and sustainable energy, electric vehicles, broadcasting and much more.

Students from Liverpool High School, as well as Baldwinsville, Cicero-North Syracuse, East Syracuse Minoa, Fabius-Pompey and Tully high schools, exhibited projects at the event, as did numerous businesses.

Ted Kliszczewicz, a mentor from Carrier Corporation who works with students on Liverpool’s robotics team and also with students at Cicero-North Syracuse High School, said his driving role is to take all that students have learned in school and show them how to apply it.

“My goal was to let the students brag about what they learned,” he said of STEM Day. “These kids are learning skill sets that go outside the classroom.”

Tommy Williams, a Liverpool junior, went from being a shy, quiet freshman who had no driving role when he joined the school’s robotics club a couple years ago to being the main programmer on this year’s project — a robot that not only picks up basketballs from the floor, but also shoots them — for the FIRST Robotics Competition, Rebound Rumble

Williams said the robot was built in a six-week period for competition and he’s used Java to program various commands to make it run. “Snobot,” as the device is called, also has an autonomous mode in which it can run itself, Williams said.

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