I mentor weekly classes on the engineering design process, computer programming, and building LEGO robots. I work with a team of six college students, and our students are ages 8 to 12. We teach students relevant, age appropriate engineering concepts such as the steps in the engineering design process and applications and basics of computer programming. We run hands on activities and design challenges, such as creating a device with given materials to remove a kit-kat that has been taped high up on a wall, or building a bridge between desks. Over the course of this ten week program, we also guide the students in building and programming LEGO robots to compete in a "sumo robot" cumulative challenge. Each week we introduce a new programming concept and assist the students in further developing their robot.
Through this program, I encourage creative thinking, iterative design, and team cooperation. I hope to nurture a love of engineering in my students and, more importantly, to instill in them self-confidence and an excitement in their own potential.