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Gray Stone students enjoy summer STEM Camp

Contributed

Even though summer break is well underway at Gray Stone Day School, Room 103 was abuzz with the sound of students designing and building.

For the second year, Jeff Brown, Gray Stone Day School’s STEM instructor, led a week-long summer camp aimed at igniting the minds and inspiring the imagination of middle schoolers with his Build Your Own Hydraulic Robot STEM camp.

Students came together to construct their own tabletop hydraulically controlled robotic arm. Along the way they learned the physics, hydraulics and engineering behind their creations.

These robots were able to move in four directions and were modeled after the human arm and hand.

The greatest thrill came in the last few hours of the camp. Students used cardboard, tubing, glue, screws, wire and syringes as materials for the project. After days of drawing, cutting and assembling a table full of parts and pieces, the robots finally grew into completion. By forcing water in and out of the syringes, the students were able to have the arm rotate at the base as well as move up and down. A claw on the end would close and pick up an object.

“Hopefully we can motivate young students to explore their natural curiosity about how things work and create new inventions,” Brown said.

“I learned a lot as the students shared with me how their robots worked. They were able to provide step by step instructions to show me how they had made them and how to make them work. I wanted to make one, too,” Helen Nance, chief administrator at the school, added.

— Gray Stone Day School