Friday, October 31, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Kids enjoy hands-on science at UCD summer camp

Shivam and Keeshav Patel demonstrate how their robot can pick up a ball and drop it into a cup at last week's "Summer Fun with a Brain" camp, jointly sponsored by the UC Davis School of Education and Campus Recreation program. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | July 16, 2013 |

Local kids are learning about science this summer at UC Davis, in a youth-oriented program supported by the university’s School of Education and Campus Recreation program.

Titled “Summer Fun with a Brain,” the program features classes that focus on building robots, as well as others devoted to learning how the human body works (and sometimes doesn’t work), or studying waves (tidal waves, sound waves, light waves) and the patterns they can make.

“It gives young people a great taste of life on a college campus,” said Andee Press-Dawson, director of community programs with the School of Education. “And it gives some of our newly credentialed teachers from UC Davis an opportunity to share their talents.”

In addition, the teachers get to try on some lesson plans reflecting the recently developed Next Generation science standards, which the state Board of Education is widely expected to adopt for all California students in September.

Teacher Eric Garber, who works during the school year at West Sac Prep, a charter school affiliated with the UCD School of Education, is teaching robotics this summer — including a class last week that was aimed at students going into grades 4-6. The kids build robots from kits — “the real goal is to have them create a specific mission or task, and then design a robot to do it — in about four days,” Garber explained.

“The tasks can range from having the robot kick a ball into a goal, or have a robot catapult-launch a projectile,” he said. “Alternately, some of the kids build ‘object avoidance’ roaming robots that can drive around obstacles using limited sensors. Or build a robot that can draw pictures, meaning multiple geometric shapes.”

Garber had 28 kids in his Beginning Robotics class last week. The group included 10-year-old Ethan Schroeder, who will be a fifth-grader at César Chávez Elementary this fall. Ethan explained that he initially intended “to build a robot that would catapult a wheel. But during the week, I got more ideas, so I put a bulldozer on the front of the robot, and made it stronger with gears.

“It’s my first robot,” Ethan added. “Finding a design that actually works was the hardest part.”

That drew a smile from Garber.

“We’re getting them to be robotic engineers, actively engaged in creating their own mission parameters, problem-solving and design solutions,” he said — the kind of hands-on approach that the new Next Generation science standards favor.

Lily Byrne, 11, will be a sixth-grader at Chávez this fall.

“My robot does two things,” Lily explained. “It kicks a ball into a goal. And it fights other robots with its ‘kickers.’ It is an aggressive robot.

“I’ve done erector sets with motors (in the past),” Lily added, “but you don’t program those.” She added, “I want to join the robotics team for high school students, Citrus Circuits. They came in and showed us their humongous robot that throws Frisbees.”

Surina Beal, another 11-year-old, will be in the sixth grade this fall at Patwin Elementary.

“My robot is called GolfBot,” she said. “It uses a golf-club-like arm to hit a ball into a cup.”

Helping in the class was teenager Maksym Monastryskyy, who will be a sophomore this fall at Davis High School. He acknowledged that the robotics class creates a lot of whirring and loud clicking, as the students test out their projects-in-progress.

“I took two robotics classes at Harper Junior High last year, so I’m used to this noise,” he said.

In another room, teacher Bipan Lally was working with a group of younger students in a health-oriented class called “Medical Madness,” using a product called “Glo Germ” to create hand prints around light switches and doorknobs — which glow under a black light — to help students understand how germs can spread through casual contact.

“This helps them understand why it is important to cover your mouth when you sneeze, and wash your hands,” Lally said. “The idea is to get the kids to think like a scientist.”

Paras Sajjan, 8, will be starting the third grade at North Davis Elementary in the fall.

“We did a scavenger hunt for germs,” Paras said. “We turned out the regular lights, and used a flashlight to look for germs — germs that could spread to other people.”

Will the experience prompt her to be a little more careful at home and at school? “I’m going to make sure I wash my hands more often,” she said with a smile.

Helping in the “Medical Madness” class was Julia Herring, a fourth-year UC Davis student majoring in wildlife, fish and conservation biology.

“I want to go into environmental education, so I thought this would be a great opportunity,” Herring said. “I enjoy the hands-on activities, like learning how far a sneeze goes.”

The “Summer Fun with a Brain” series continues with more classes the weeks of July 22-26, July 29-Aug. 2 and Aug. 5-9. Classes are $275 each. For more information, visit http://cru.ucdavis.edu/summercamps or call Press-Dawson at 530-574-8906.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8055.

 

 

 

 

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Gardner guilty of murder, with special circumstances

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    State superintendent makes campaign stop in Davis

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Meet Poppenga at Saturday reception

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Bob Dunning: Lawn display causes a theological crisis

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Couple killed in Yolo County crash

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Same-party races challenge incumbents

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    State races test one-party rule

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2

     
    Indians celebrate Diwali with gala on Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Rairdan dinged for late report

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

     
    Veterans will tailgate at ‘Salute to Heroes’ game

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Wolk hailed for environmental votes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Yamada honored for leadership on aging issues

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Embroidery group meets at mall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Bet Haverim will hear Israel update

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Local artisans featured at holiday craft fair

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Got bikes? Donate ‘em!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Kids walk for friends at Birch Lane

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Explorit: Creep out with some spooky science

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4

    Shambhala offers Tai Chi class

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Bones for Life classes offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Enjoy wine, music and art at Sunday fundraiser for DHS choir

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Forum

    New-school cheating on the smartphone

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Garamendi, Dodd get my votes

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    High hopes for Sunder

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Public service is in her heart

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    A calm, thoughtful voice

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Sunder is a perfect fit

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Best predictor is past behavior

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Vote for students, with Tuck

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    My choices on Tuesday

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Sports

    Blue Devil girls net an easy win at Grant

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie offense A-OK; now what about defense?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    In Davis, rugby is as American as apple pie

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    DHS plays undefeated Pacers Friday night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
     
    Niemi’s 43 saves aren’t enough in loss to Wild

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Calling all artists for upcoming show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    ‘Birdman': A dark comedy that soars

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11

     
    DHS Madrigals host singing workshop

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

     
    Marcia Ball to play at The Palms

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Big, capable luxury defines Yukon

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Joseph Francis Gray

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, October 31, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER2

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER3

    RE/Max Gold

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER4

    Kim Eichorn

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER5

    Susan von Geldern

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Team Traverso

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Yolo FCU

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Juan Ramirez

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Tracy Harris

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER7

    Susan von Geldern

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER7

    Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

    Julie Leonard

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

    Joe Kaplan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER9

    Melrina A Maggiora

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER9

    Coldwell Banker

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER10

    Leslie Blevins

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

    Julie Partain

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

    Robin Garland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

    Jamie Madison

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

    Diane Lardelli

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

    Karen Waggoner

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER14

    Jamie Madison & Associates

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER14

    Lisa Haass

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER14

    Ciana Wallace

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER15

    Travis Credit Union

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER16

    Malek Baroody

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

    Marcelo Campos

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER18

    F1rst Street Real Estate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER20