IMG_0579Julian middle schoolers are rolling up their sleeves and getting creative this spring. About 30 kids are meeting every Thursday in April and May for a Maker Club in Mr. Walsh’s STEM classroom. The only requirement? They come with an idea and willingness to tinker and collaborate.

One group of students is deconstructing a fan and repurposing the engine to create a Frisbee throwing machine with VEX Robotics equipment and parts printed on a 3D printer. Another group of students is learning to code at their own pace using simple robots called square bots. Some students are making robots of their own design, not for competition, but for the joy of creating. An adult mentor is also bringing in Arduinos and testing a curriculum idea on some of the kids.

Mr. Walsh has promised that if any students come up with a breakthrough project, he will submit it for possible exhibition at the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) Smartforce Student Summit to be held in Chicago this September. Julian students exhibited a holonomic robot at the last conference in 2014.