The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, August 12, 2005


LEGOS robotics camp takes Carlisle School by (Mind)storm

Children at the LEGO robotics camp held last week at the school library gave the camp a thumbs up, according to parents and school Superintendent Marie Doyle. "You could see the excitement in the students and parent feedback was great," said Doyle, who said the idea for the one-week day camp was generated by parents, including Paul McCormack who contacted the Tufts University Center for Engineering Educational Outreach about running a camp in Carlisle this summer.

Teachers Peter Darasz and Liz Gray were co-teachers at the camp with two undergraduate and one graduate student from Tufts. Thirty students in grades three to eight took advantage of the half-day camp, offered in Carlisle for the first time. Previously, parents had to drive into the Museum of Science in Boston, to Tufts, or another university to find a similar course.

Darasz and Gray are now trained to run a LEGO Mindstorm robotics club the school is hoping to offer after school. The club is expected to start up sometime this year with a $2,000 grant from the Carlisle Education Fund for purchasing electronics materials, including the LEGO kits, for after-school clubs. The LEGO robotics club would probably have a fee as for the summer camp, but the school hopes to keep costs down as much as possible. The half-day camp was offered for $125.

The school hopes to expose children to different engineering and science professions at an early age, said Doyle, mirroring a national trend to help train students for these careers. Current discussions for other possible after-school clubs include how to build an engine, water study, an electronics unit, and a possible club for girls only.

Teachers Susie Brinner, Liz Perry, Rob Quaden, and Alan Ticotsky also took courses this summer at the Tufts Center for Engineering Educational Outreach and will integrate what they learned in the engineering courses with the curriculum, said Doyle.

LEGO cars are ready to go. Left to right are Cam Reid, Peter Ryder, Alex Kinmonth, Alex Doig, Jesse Zwerling. (Photo by Rik Pierce)

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito