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Maple Park student attends collegiate engineering camp in South Dakota

Published: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 9:52 a.m. CDT
(Provided photo)
Maple Park high school student McKayla Helm attended Robotics Camp with 11 other campers from around the country at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Maple Park high school student McKayla Helm got a chance to get out of the classroom and explore opportunities that can come from a degree in electrical engineering and computer science.

Helm attended Robotics Camp with 11 other campers from around the country at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, July 21 though 26, in Rapid City, S.D.

The campers stayed on campus and worked directly with Brian Fehrman, a master’s degree candidate in Computational Science and Robotics at the School of Mines, as well as members of the SDSMT Robotics Team.

“Robotics is becoming more pervasive each day in areas spanning from the medical field to farming and beyond,” Fehrman, who designed the camp, said in a news release. “Robotics summer camp helps prepare students to fill or even create these technical jobs that are much needed in South Dakota.”

The five-day curriculum included building, designing, coding and programming robots to perform a variety of complex functions automatically and with a remote control. Teamwork is a key element of the camp; students were required to solve problems collaboratively and encouraged to help each other.

The camp was made possible by a grant from the NASA Summer of Innovation program, which helped hire professional educators Diane Dittmer and Teresa Olson.

Other sponsors include Caterpillar, the engineering firm Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson, and the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium.

For more information on this and other School of Mines camps in 2014, interested students, parents, and counselors can call 605-394-2693. Updated information will be posted at as it becomes available.

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