Pleasant Grove Elementary STEM Camp Students Race to Mars
Using a Mantis 3D-printed robotic tank, students participating in the Mantis STEM Immersion workshop simulated a Mars rover exploration and learned relevant Science, Technology, Engineering and Math concepts throughout their journey.
By: HipScience, LLC
The Mars Exploration room housed the robotics and the 3D printer stations. At the 3D printer station, a live demo was conducted using the Dremel 3D printer. Students were able to understand the importance of modeling and designing in order to successfully print an object, such as the STEMTank's housing and tracks. At the robotics stations, details about how circuits connect, along with the concept of how data is shared between robots and the electronic devices that control them, were among the day's lessons. The Mars themed room was chosen by the Summer Camp staff and coincided perfectly with the Mantis prepared curriculum and technology. While the kids were impressed by their ability to maneuver the Mantis STEMBot and STEMTank, they upped their game and enthusiasm when it became a challenge to see who would clock the best time in the race to Mars.
In the other room, three stations were designed for maximum engagement. At the Scratch station, students learned fundamentals of drag and drop coding while enjoying fun Scratch designed games that work with Mantis sensors. At another station, students discussed what the atmosphere is like on the fourth planet from the sun. Students learned about the 3 basic degrees of measuring temperature and compared the various water temperatures to identify those that would best resemble Mars clouds. After students learned about the icy water clouds on Mars, they identified ice water and ice as being the best comparison. And at the final station, students prepared for the Martian greenhouse where they could use their Mantis temperature probe and Mantis climate sensor to regulate light and water to ensure that plants would receive the right amounts.
Throughout the day, Mantis staff conducted experiments with rising 1st graders, 2nd graders, 3rd graders and 4th graders. It was amazing to observe that each grade level found something uniquely intriguing about the individual stations.
Although they simulated a trip to Mars, the PGE students were completely down to earth in their mastery of the STEM subject matter. One of the Mantis representatives said, "It is uplifting and rewarding to work with these kids and witness that moment when a student is truly engaged; it suddenly makes sense and the lesson comes to life. Who knows? A seed may have just been planted for a future cure or invention."
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About Pleasant Grove Elementary School: Pleasant Grove Elementary school is a STEM certified school in Henry County, one of the counties in the metropolitan Atlanta area. PGE exposes K-5 students to STEM engineering with a focus on environmental studies in an effort to prepare students for college and career readiness.