CBS 13's April Hettinger dives into how this give the students real training experiments
YUMA PROVING GROUND, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The military uses skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) almost every day, and it's important to teach these concepts at a young age.
A summer camp for Yuma middle schoolers is giving students early exposure to the stem skills needed for a civilian job at Yuma Proving Ground (YPG). Gaining knowledge in math and science includes one activity allowing students to test-drive remote control (RC) cars just like military vehicles.
"This is actually what we do on a daily basis where we take these cars, or in this case the RC cars, and we get to test them or run them through courses or through obstacles," said Sarah Hogan, medium combat test officer lead.
Trial and error is the foundation of vehicle acceptance training and these students, like 6th grader Sebastian Holt, put those skills to the test.
"We noticed that the width wasn't good for the radius, so we made the cones farther apart, so then the width wouldn't affect our results.
They collect data in this scaled-down version of real, everyday experiments." Holt stated.
"We have some obstacles that the RC cars would go through that simulate some of our hilly terrain, our rock ledges. The RC cars would have to navigate sharp turns," Hogan explained.
They are able to practice these daily tasks on the RC cars.
"I'm collecting data when I figure out that the vehicle suspension is helping it get over the bumps," Holt said.
The students will learn about trajectory by making catapults. They will also conduct their own bacteria analysis lab.
"The scientists grow the bacteria in the incubator, and then they will make slides and swab it and look at it under the microscope," said Paula Rickcliff, YPG STEM outreach manager.
This free camp was paid for by the Army Educational Outreach Program and the National Science Teachers Association.