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Middle school students explore engineering at E Day

12/8/2009 —
More than 240 gifted students from 17 middle schools in the region attended the 14th annual E Day event at Penn State Fayette Dec. 3. School districts participating included Albert Gallatin, Belle Vernon, Brownsville, California, Connellsville, Frazier, Geibel, Laurel Highlands, Southmoreland, St. John The Evangelist, St. Mary and Uniontown.

This year’s theme related to robotics. Using LEGO MINDSTORMS, Penn State Fayette’s first year engineering students designed the challenging robotic activities for the visiting middle school students, who had hands-on opportunities at each station. In addition, the Second-Place National Champion Battle Bot from Fayette County Area Vocational-Technical School was on display.

Many of the students also enjoyed visiting some nearby sites, such as the Coal and Coke Heritage Center on campus, or one of the industrial partners for E Day, BAE and Gerome Manufacturing.

Snapshots of the day’s events include:

E Days
With Nowan Jalso (second from left) at the controls, (from left:) Daniel Mihalko, Jordan Trimbath and Christian Buckley, all from Laurel Highlands Middle School, discover the intricacies of operating a crane.

E Days
Zach Ostrander (right), from Rostraver Middle School, operates the “Claw Bot” as fellow student J.J. Columbus looks on and Penn State Fayette student Micah Fuge assists.

E Days
Daniel Starr, of Connellsville Junior High School East, lays his hands on the van der Graff generator while fellow students look on.

E Days
Connellsville Junior High School East student Zeke Jones is at the control of a robotic bulldozer as fellow student Margaux Klingensmith watches the operation.
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