Robotics and STEM summer camp building future faces of engineering

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - It may be the middle of summer but junior high students are putting their brains to work. They're building a robot to engineer solutions for real-life problems during UW-Green Bay’s Robotics and STEM Camp.

The three-day robotics camp kicked off Monday. Students will focus on using science, technology, engineering and math -- or "STEM" -- to build their robot.

"The world of work is changing dramatically and will require all of those skills -- not only those skills in science, technology, engineering, and math, but communication, teamwork, critical thinking, creativity, so they get to test all of those skills here at this camp," said Melinda Pollen, UWGB Robotics and STEM Camp instructor.

Students in the camp say their dream jobs include being a software engineer or a forensic scientist, both jobs requiring strong STEM skills.

"I would like to go into robotics, probably because it's just this is something new, not many people have ever experienced it, and it would be nice to experience something new," said 13-year-old Douglas Schmidt.

"I want to go into it because I just kind of love the subject and there's a lot of jobs out there for it since it's becoming very popular nowadays,” said 14-year-old Jami Revoir.

The goal of this robotics camp is to use robots to solve real water problems, like using a robot to replace a broken underground pipe with a new one. Pollen says these students could be the future in STEM related jobs.

Pollen says learning robotics and STEM isn't just for engineering jobs; the lessons students are learning during the camp can accommodate a variety of jobs.

"The medical field is advancing all over the place and needs tons of technology to make that happen. Every career path, it's not just computers, it's not just coding, it's not just engineering, every job requires some form of science, technology, engineering, and math," said Pollen.

With Foxconn's arrival in Wisconsin approaching, Pollen says opportunities in engineering will increase in the area.

“I think that the idea of engineering jobs, there will be tons of them with Foxconn coming in, the new Microsoft partnership, and all those different things that are happening here in Northeast Wisconsin," Pollen adds.

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