STC Robotics camps offers local elementary students an inside look into the STEM field
Daniela De Hoyos, a third grader from Emiliano Zapata Elementary School in Mission, worked diligently with her peers to get Lego robots built and programmed during the South Texas College Institute for Advanced Manufacturing Robotic summer camps.
The summer camps that run through the end of June, offer week-long sessions that will host more than 400 third, fourth and fifth grade students from La Joya Independent School District, among other Valley school districts.
For 9-year-old De Hoyos, who loves everything Lego and robotics, this was an invaluable experience.
“I loved it; I learned something new every day,” she said. “It was challenging, but fun and I’m glad I got the chance to do this.”
Since the program’s inception in 2015, the goal of the STC IAM Robotics summer camp is to give young students early exposure to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and careers.
STC’s Office of Industry Training and Economic Development Training Specialist Carlos Martinez said he hopes this camp sparks an interest for these students, one they can pursue for years to come.
“Advancements in technology are forever evolving and as our future generations, these children need to become familiar and have knowledge in automation, engineering, among other STEM fields,” said Martinez. “This gives students in our region the opportunity to explore and develop their interests in STEM and plants a seed at an early age so they can continue to pursue these fields as they move forward in their education.”
Pursuing a STEM career is exactly what fifth grader Camila Alanis plans on doing.
As a student in the Gifted and Talented program at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Peñitas, she has had the opportunity to participate in other STC robotic summer camps and said this has prompted her interests in Architecture.
“I’ve really enjoyed having the chance to build and create robots, but this tells me that I can build and create anything,” said the 11-year-old. “I want to be an architect when I grow up and these camps help me get experience and grow.”
Martinez said it’s students like De Hoyos and Alanis, that make it evident to Martinez and his colleagues that what they are doing is making a difference.
“I’ve really enjoyed having the chance to build and create robots, but this tells me that I can build and create anything. I want to be an architect when I grow up and these camps help me get experience and grow.”
“It brings me joy watching these students learn, gain new skills and confidence and discover new things,” said Martinez. “The technology in our region is developing, and these students are growing along with it. The camps and programs we offer at STC will ensure that we always have the trained individuals we need to fill the workforce.”
Upon completion of each week-long robotics session, students will receive a certificate to mark their success in the program.
STC’s Robotics camp is only one of several STEM camps being offered this summer on campus; others include drone piloting and mechatronics labs and pneumatics principles, altogether hosting more than 600 third through eighth graders.
STC’s IAM helps identify, develop and provide training programs to regional employers that are looking to enhance the skills of their staff by offering diverse courses that can be customized to meet the employers’ needs.
To learn more about STC’s Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and the programs and services it offers, visit southtexascollege.edu/cpit/iam.html.