Designed to be Rigorous ~ Educational ~ Hands-on ~ STEM-Focused ~ Fun
Open to students in grades K-9
January 23, February 20, March 19, April 23, 2016
All classes are held from 9 AM- Noon
Cost of each class is $50
Classes are developed by Carnegie Mellon University Faculty, Students and Staff
For more information about the instructors, click here:
PRIMARY DIVISION (GRADES K-2)
BASIC MACHINES, Grades K-2 DATE: February 20 (CLASS FILLED--WAIT LIST ONLY)
Do you enjoy building things? Would you like to build a motorized simple machine? You will work with a partner and the LEGO© Motorized Machine kit to build machines that move in different ways. The machine you will make will help you to understand how things work. Motions, forces, transfer of energy and the principles of basic machines will be studied through hands-on activities with the LEGO© models. Instructor: Dorothy Holland-Minkley.
BUG-BOTS Grades 1-2 DATES: January 23 and April 23 (CLASS FILLED--WAIT LIST ONLY)
Bounce your way into the exciting world of robots! Explore motion, power, electricity, and robots. Discover the way motors and batteries operate. Discuss robots and bugs and then create a robot, explain how it moves, and take the robot home to share with your family and friends! Parents are invited into to class at 11:45 for a Bug-Bot parade of all the class creations. Instructor: Christa Romanosky.
INSECT DWELLINGS, K-2 DATE: March 19
Ever wonder where insects live? Is it on a leaf, in a hive, or perhaps in an underground tunnel? In this introductory architecture class you will discover how insects of all kinds live. Explore the structure and habitat which they live within. You will be able to select an insect from ants, to ladybugs, or even butterflies and then design a home for your small friend to live! Instructor: Elizabeth Levy.
MORE BASIC MACHINES, Grades K-2 DATE: March 19 (CLASS FILLED--WAIT LIST ONLY)
Still can’t get enough of building things? Would you like to build more motorized basic machines? You will work with a partner and the LEGO© Motorized Machine kit to explore more complex machines while investigating the physics behind them. Get your motors started as you explore pulleys and gears! Students may take one or both of the machine classes as topics will be different for each class. Instructor: Dorothy Holland-Minkley.
MY IDEAL HOUSE, Grades K-1 DATE: February 20
Factors such as time and location play a role in shaping the look and feel of a home. What shapes can we find in local Pittsburgh houses? Can we use these shapes and forms to inspire our own dream house designs? Learn how to create drawings and models of buildings to make your own unique architectural language and house design. Recycled materials, such as cereal boxes, will be used so students are inspired to use items in their own home to make architectural creations! Instructor: Samantha Carter.
UPPER DIVISION (GRADES 3-9)
ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, Grades 6-8 DATE: January 23 (CLASS FILLED--WAIT LIST ONLY)
Engineers create many of the products that you see and hear about every day, often using computers to draw, analyze, re-design, and manufacture these products. This introduction to additive manufacturing (AM) includes a brief history of AM processing, a discussion of and technical fundamentals of current AM processes including additive fabrication of parts on Cube Pro maker machines, subtractive fabrication of parts via laser cutting and an introduction to direct metal additive manufacturing used in the aerospace and other industries. The students will also tour the Carnegie Mellon Mechanical Engineering Lab. Instructor: Dr. Jack Beuth.
BUILDING UP! Grades 3-5 DATE: January 23 (CLASS FILLED--WAIT LIST ONLY)
From concept sketch to building, skyscrapers must be designed with geometry and physics in mind. Learn the math, science, and design behind skyscrapers. Work as a team and work individually to add to Pittsburgh’s skyline. How can a new skyscraper be inspired by geometry found in native Pittsburgh plants? Instructor: Samantha Carter.
CAMERA ENGINEERING, Grades 5-7 DATE: April 23 (CLASS FILLED--WAIT LIST ONLY)
Building your own camera is not just fun, but good engineering practice. The workshop will be comprised of short lectures on four topics: history of imaging, basics of optics and photography, power-generation and storage, and operating principles behind a modern digital camera. Students will then build their own camera and, weather permitting, will go for a hike to use their newly built cameras to take photographs. Tips will be provided to help them explore unusual framing concepts and achieving artistic effects. Instructor: Dr. Aswin Sankaranarayanan.
ENERGY FROM EVERYDAY THINGS, Grades 5-7 DATE: January 23
Many of the things we use every day can be used to help generate clean energy. Did you know that you can trap sunlight and generate energy from blackberry juice? Did you know that you can run a car on water? No? Then come and experience two amazing projects designed in the laboratory of Carnegie Mellon University Professor Reeja Jayan. Maybe, what you have for a snack while reading this paragraph can help power our future? Instructor: Dr. Reeja Jayan.
ENGINEERING 101 Grades 5-7 DATE: February 20 (CLASS FILLED--WAIT LIST ONLY)
What is engineering and how do engineers design new systems and products? Engineering marvels are all around us, and are essential parts of our everyday lives. In this class we will explore the engineering design process and how engineers overcome challenges of mechanics, environment, and change. Students will face an engineering challenge, design and test a solution, and more importantly "redesign" to improve on the original idea. Students will see how fundamentals of math and science are used in the engineering design process as well. Instructor: Dr. Deanna H. Matthews.
INTRODUCTION TO MOBILE ROBOTICS, Grades 7-9 DATE: March 19
This course will be conducted by members of the Girls of Steel FIRST Robotics Team, an all-girls robotics team mentored at Carnegie Mellon's Field Robotics Center. Learn about the basic tools, electronics, and materials used to build a robot chassis similar to those used for the FIRST(r) FRC level robotics competition (
). Assemble a 6-wheel drop center chassis and learn to drive it. Instructors: The Girls of Steel.
IT'S A MATERIAL WORLD Grades 5-7 DATE: February 20
What is materials science? Materials science is the study of "stuff." Materials are everywhere -- from your clothing to your computer to the appliances in your home. Explore the world of materials by learning about how scientists use the properties of materials to engineer products we use every day. Students will explore the different categories of materials, learn about the basic building blocks and experiment with new materials with hands on demonstrations. Instructor: Dr. Neetha Khan.
IT'S IN YOUR DNA! Grades 3-5 DATES: January 23 and March 19 (CLASS FILLED - WAIT LIST ONLY)
Have you ever wondered why your hair is brown or why your friend's eyes are green? It's in your DNA! In this class, students will be introduced to the importance of DNA and its heredity function. They'll explore the structure of this double-stranded molecule through a hands-on building activity. Did you know that some of your favorite foods have DNA? Students will examine the DNA of fruits such as strawberries and bananas.They will explore how scientists can use basic information about DNA to create new medical advancements. Instructor: Melinda Sager.
LIVE SMART, THINK SMALL, Grades 6-8 DATE: January 23 (CLASS FILLED--WAIT LIST ONLY)
Have you been building things for as long as you can remember? Learn about civil engineering, architecture and sustainability as we talk about 'tiny houses.' You will build a model of a 'tiny house' and using math you will compare the size of the rooms in the tiny house to the size of the rooms in your own home. We will also discuss how a tiny house is sustainable - from material usage, to energy efficiency, to reducing the accumulation of 'stuff.' You will take your model home and be able to use it as a pencil box or a night light. Instructor: Dr. Deborah Lange.
PUZZLES, GAMES AND PROBLEM SOLVING, Grades 7-9 DATE: April 23
Explore critical thinking and problem solving via Puzzle-based Learning. While solving puzzles is innately fun, companies such as Google and Yahoo also use puzzles to assess the creative problem solving skills of potential employees. The ultimate goal of Puzzle-based Learning is to lay this foundation to become effective problem solvers in the real world. In this interactive and fun workshop we will brainstorm and discuss a range of puzzles, brainteasers, and games. Come and experience moments of puzzlement morph into moments of, Aha insight! Instructor: Dr. Raja Sooriamurthi
SUPER HEROES & VILLAINS: Write and Create Characters and Their Worlds! Grades 3-4 DATE: February 20 (CLASS FILLED--WAIT LIST ONLY)
Have you ever thought about what kinds of superheroes you WISH existed? Or what types of superpowers you wish you had? Fly, teleport, and rappel into this creative writing class and craft your own unique superhero and the world they are battling to save. We’ll work on everything from naming and designing your hero, to creating rules for the world in which they live. You may even want to create a villain instead! Create a short story and use dialogue to share with family and friends. Parents are invited into the class from 11:45-noon to hear about each student’s hero. Instructor: Christa Romanosky.
WEARABLE COMPUTERS Grades 7-9 DATE: March 19
Bracelets that buzz, scarves that sense, ties that talk, blouses that blink— it’s all part of wearable engineering! Students will learn about the rapidly developing field of wearable technology, and will design their own conductive fabrics and simple-to-program electronics. They’ll also learn how humans and computers interact to form wearable technology, also known as “soft robotics". This class will inform and excite students about this electrifying subfield of mechanical engineering in our constantly upgrading world. Instructor: Dr. Carmel Majidi.
WHY THINGS FALL DOWN, Grades 3-5 DATE: April 23 (CLASS FILLED--WAIT LIST ONLY)
We see all the buildings around us that stand up; what about the ones that fall down? Why do they fall down? Explore how extreme weather and climate can influence buildings around the world, and learn about the forces that make them stand. Design a building that can survive a hurricane, a wildfire, or an earthquake! Instructor: Kelly Li.
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