For the past eight years, Del Kuntz and Brian Reyes, teachers of Clay High School’s Tech Prep programs, with support from the Northwest Ohio Tech Prep Consortium, have presented a summer academy for the Oregon City School District’s middle school students. Some of these academies were based on rockets, hover-crafts and solar energy.
Under the direction of Steve Bialorucki, this year’s program, held June 3 to 8, was about robots. The students were given short lessons and extended hands-on activities explaining the six simple machines and their relationship to robots, and then were guided through the building of their own hand-made wooden robot to compete against the others in the group on the last day during the “Robot Wars.”
Students guided their robots on a playing field with the goal of collecting ping-pong balls.
Through the generous funding of Dr. Erol Riza, OB-GYN, a second group of children received the opportunity to participate in this program.
The East Toledo Family Center (E.T.F.C.) has worked with the instructors in targeting 18 children ages 7 to 12 who would benefit from this experience.
“This is the first time we were able to offer an academy to students younger than fifth grade, but with the help of E.T.F.C.’s assistants and the gracious volunteering of some of my and Mr. Reyes’s present and former students, the academy has been a great success,” Kuntz said.