Blog  Trip Day Session 3

Trip Day Session 3

Trip day provides an opportunity for our campers to observe what they are learning in their workshops in a professional setting. Seeing the new skills they are developing at Sci-Tech used to care for people, develop new products, clean our wastewater and so much more, further inspires them to pursue their passion. From whale watching, to play testing video games, to visiting Bose head quarters, there’s never a dull moment.

3D Animation

Our campers were treated to a backstage pass at a Visual Effects/Animation Studio called Brickyard VFX!  Campers in 3D animation were taken on a tour of this boutique visual effects studio, where they saw the software they are using in the 3D animation workshop and demos of their commercials. They were exposed to a real animation pipeline and showed how their workshop relates to the real world of animation in a professional setting. This particular studio does commercials for clients like Progressive Insurance and Cheetos. The campers were in awe and loved every minute of their experience at Brickyard VFX.  Overall the questions from our campers were great and they all had a wonderful time!

Biozone

  

Biozone had an amazing time the at Boston Sport and Shoulder Center! We had the opportunity to tour the center’s medical exam rooms, ultrasound a knee and ankle to visualize  tendons, muscles, and bones, and learn how to wrap an ankle and place a shoulder sling! They watched a video and heard about the intricacies of a total shoulder replacement and then got to examine models of a healthy shoulder and a replacement. Campers also really enjoyed being able to share their own experience with sports medicine and physical therapy. Now back to the classroom to finish our liver case!

Chemistry

      

Today, Chemistry went to the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District. It was a wonderful day with many questions about the treatment of region’s water and the many procedures they use to filter and clean the town’s water. Campers learned how water had to be separated from solids (which are collected as the sludge), treated via aeration, and disinfected, and analyzed at different stages, prior to release in Merrimack River. They were amazed by the engineering, cost,  energy, and community effort involved in treating 30 million gallons of wastewater every day. It was an impressive amount of clean water that is then put back into the river to help keep the water clean and less polluted. We were also taken on a tour of the facility where we could see the process we learned about!

Earth & Sky

   

Earth & Sky had an incredible trip day! We started off at the Gloucester Maritime Museum where we learned about the natural history of Cape Ann, and then visited their aquarium and touch-tank. Then, we went on a whale watch! We saw humpback whales, minke whales, and a grey seal! What a great day!

 

Digital Film Production

   

DFP got an amazing opportunity to work in the production studio at Somerville Media! Students operated professional grade studio cameras, directed a switchboard, ran the audio board, and acted on a set. Some students also got a tutorial on audio production and got to make some sweet beats! It was a unique experience since DFP doesn’t have a TV studio to work in so they learned some brand new skills. The day was full of laughter and absurdity and really sparked the kids interests.

Programming & Coding

 

At Bose, we learned about how sound works and heard some cool demos of the different speaker systems that Bose produces. We also got to learn about different ways of storing sound waves, such as the grooves on a record, taking different amounts of sound samples for a digital recording, and music compression. Hearing how the different physical sizes of sound waves make the sound fill a room differently was really cool! Finally, we got to see some audio processing software and see the sound waves from the level of the full song, all the way down to the individual sample along the wave.

Start up Nation

Today the Start-Up Nation campers had a chance to visit and explore Gingko Bioworks, one of the largest biotech companies in the world. The student visited the company’s headquarters in the Innovation and Design Building in Boston. The visit included a tour of the company’s main labs, where the students heard about the products and the design engineering behind them. When the tour had finished, the students return to the special meeting room, where they heard about the Gingko’s 10 years history, including the stages of the company’s fundraising and prototyping. Just before the visit was over, the students presented their projects and received a giveaway from the hosts.

Robotics

  

Today was an incredible day for Robotics! We got to start off our day at the Boston Museum of Science where we got to see their new space exhibit, see a lightning show along with countless other exhibits. After lunch, we then had the pleasure of visiting Vecna Robotics. They are an industry leader in full spectrum automated robotics. They make robots that can operate all on their own, working in harsh environments and completing heavy and dangerous tasks.
While at Vecna, they gave us a full tour of their shop and electrical labs. We got to see their waterjet cutter go through three-inch steel using 50,000 psi of pressurized water. Everyone also got to see how testing and prototyping work in the real world. We learned some valuable lessons about failing fast. This is where they use values similar to camp’s like sakranut (curiosity) and savlanut (patience) to come up with a truly revolutionary design. When a camper asked a question about what jobs robots shouldn’t take over, they answered with another one of our values, kavod (respect). They said that robots should not take over the jobs of caring for one another. Having a genuine connection from person to person is crucial for humans and can not be replicated with code and hardware.
After the tour, our guide said, “After all of the years I have been at Vecna, this is the best group we have ever worked with!” This is an incredible group of young engineers, and it is a pleasure to work with them all session long!
Video Game Design

  

The video game design workshop went to the MIT game lab where we had tons of fun! We started by listening to a presentation about the history of games at MIT. This included how they started and coined the phrase “hacking.” Afterwards the campers were able to play test games in progress from the different labs working with MIT. Campers tested various projects i.e. paper prototypes, three dimensional, and even virtual reality demos. A big emphasis of the trip was on the value of sakranut (curiosity). Our biggest taglit (discovery) was about the origin story behind hacking and how the whole video game industry sprung from this curiosity. Specifically because hacking arose to see how a computer could entertain us or what potential it held for tasks other than what it was designed for. The kids were thrilled to be able to see how professionals go through the same processes that they are currently completing. Seeing that even at their level games don’t always work, but can still be unique and a lot of fun was a great lesson.

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