For the past three weeks, approximately 10 rising freshmen at Lanier High School have participated in a camp held at the high school. The camp was an introduction to Lanier’s highly successful STEM program.
Mike Reilly is the mastermind behind the camp. He is the engineering, computer science and the center for technology and design instructor at Lanier. Reilly is also the sponsor for Lanier’s Robotics Club, which comes up with and builds robotics from scratch. They then take their robot to competition.
Students attending the camp got a taste of what the program can offer. They were able to build a birdhouse, make a serving tray and construct planter boxes. Students also got hands-on experiences with 3D printers, laser cutting and building and coding robotics.
Reilly said the camp was a great way to introduce the STEM curriculum to the students to let them decide if it’s for them before they commit to an entire semester or more to the classes. He really encourages students to find their niche through their STEM studies.
Many of the students who attended the camp enjoyed it so much that they switched one of their classes for this fall to one of the STEM classes offered at Lanier. Rising freshmen Freddy Federico and Lerone Yuyun both were interested in robotics and coding before the camp. After attending the camp, they both said the camp solidified their desire to enter into the STEM pathway.
When asked what aspect of the camp he liked most, Federico said, “My favorite part of the camp was the laser printer. It was a pretty cool tool.”
Tiffany Avila-Perdomo was originally destined to go to a different camp these past few weeks but she was unable to go. Her mother received an email about the STEM camp and enrolled Tiffany. Tiffany said the camp was a happy accident. She was surprised that she really enjoyed the camp and this made her decide to enroll in a STEM class when school starts back. Without having attended this camp, Tiffany said she would have never discovered STEM.
Lanier High School opened in 2010 with the STEM/CDAT pathway and lab. Lanier was only the second high school in Gwinnett County to receive the program and lab. Reilly said Lanier currently offers classes that focus on programming and engineering applications.
The Gwinnett County Public School district provides for a majority of the needs of the program and the lab at Lanier High School is outfitted with more than a dozen expensive pieces of machinery and software. The room features a dust collection system to capture a majority of the saw dust coming off machines like the CNC machine, drill press, band saw, table saw and sanders. The room also has machinery that was made for metal. They have a sheet metal bender, pipe cutters, metal lathe, bench grinders and more. There are also several 3D printers and even a sticker and poster making machine.
For more information on the STEM/CDAT program at Lanier, visit sites.google.com/g.gcpsk12.org/cdatmain/home.