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BSC Students Combine Lego Bricks with Technology in “Lunabotics” Workshop

  • Created
    Monday, March 04 2013
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103

samuel dennah sasha richmond(Bluefield)—"Science and math can be fun." That's the message Bluefield State College students Sasha Richmond and Samuel Dennah hope to deliver to area middle school and high school students in the months to come. The BSC students returned recently from a "Lunabotics" workshop sponsored by the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium.

"We joined a group of students from WVU in a one-day workshop that focused on how to design and build robots with Lego toy building bricks and install on-board computers, then remotely program and control these 'lunabots' to start, stop, and steer around obstacles," Richmond explained.

"It was a very motivational experience," Dennah added. The BSC senior Health Services Management major from Liberia, observed, "We found ways to increase middle school and high school students' appetite for STEM (science-technology-engineering-mathematics) education. Hopefully, they will consider entering STEM-based careers."

"The lunabots can help us show kids that science is not boring," Richmond said. "Students can experience 'hands on' learning. After we receive lunabotics certification, we hope to teach kids and mentor them to encourage STEM learning."

Dennah and Richmond, a junior Applied Science/Pre-Med specialization major, are members of the Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI), which was established at Bluefield State College several years ago to provide African-American students majoring in NASA-related activities with opportunities for leadership development through a comprehensive program based in leadership theory and practice.

Dr. Felica Wooten-Williams, ELI executive director, invited Emerging Leaders Institute members to consider the Lunabotics workshop opportunity. Richmond and Dennah volunteered. They will now have the opportunity to travel to the Kennedy Space Center with the WVU team for NASA's annual Lunabotics Mining Competition in May.