Creative geniuses

Ashlee Martin works on building her motor chassis at State Fair Community College’s Kid’s College Lego Robotics class. Three additional week long sessions of classes are available July 6 through 9, July 13 through 16 and July 20 through the 23. The theme of this year’s Kid’s College is science and discovery according to SFCC President, Dr. Joanna Anderson. Martin, 11, from Green Ridge said she enjoyed the class because she got to build things.

Nathan England, left and Joey Menning work on programming their robotic cars. “I’m learning a lot,” England said while working at his computer on programming his vehicle. Menning was modifying his robot. “It’s a 100 percent speed but it’s not as fast as I want it to be,” Menning said.

Matthew Kreisler, 11, from Lincoln holds his modified long drag racer that he built in the Lego Robotic class at SFCC. “I made it longer to try to increase the speed of it,” Kreisler said. “I also put spikes on it so I can knock out the completion.” he added

Hayden Grose program his car before taking it for a test drive. “Everybody in my family has gone to this, (Kid’s College) ” Grose said. “That’s why I’m here.” Students may still enroll in the remaining three sessions of the college held at SFCC.

Summer officially began five days ago and for many students school and college are the last thing on their mind.

Nothing could be further from the truth for the 342 students in grades pre-K through nine who are attending Kids College at State Fair Community this summer.

State fair has offered the program for the last five years and this year is seeing a record enrollment.

“It is extremely important to connect students with technical career skills early,” Dr. Joanna Anderson, president of SFCC said Thursday night at the announcement meeting for the FIT (Forty Hour Internship Tryout) program in Sedalia at the Katy Depot. “At SFCC, when we were deciding on the offerings for Kid’s College we created the theme of science and technology.

“This year we have the largest number of students who have ever taken classes in the program,” she added. “It is great if we can get them excited early about those fields and encourage them to pursue those areas as they get older.”

The college still has three sessions remaining: July 6-9, July 13-16, and the final session July 20-23.

Some of the class offerings include Little Minds and Big Creations, Crazy Fun Science Lab, Build Your Own Hovercraft and Lego Robotics.

Heber Hunt teacher, Kevin Ditzfeld, teaches the Lego Robotics class.

“This is my fifth year teaching here and I love working with the kids,” Ditzfeld said. “It’s a really rewarding experience when you see the lightbulbs go off when you sit and watch them and work with them. It’s an opportunity that a lot of these students don’t get to have in their normal educational classes.”

The class is designed to allow student to develop their problem solving skills building and using robots as tools. The students work with Lego Mindstorms EV3 robotics kits.

According to Ditzfeld, the kits are only sold to educational institutions, although similar kits are available at larger retailers including Target and

Sixteen students, in grades four through eight, are currently enrolled in this session and they represented many of the Kaysinger Conference schools as well as some students who are home-schooled.

Jared Thomas and Seth Huffman were friends from Warsaw who teamed up to work on their robots with Matthew Kreisler, a student from Lincoln who has become a friend as well.

The boys bonded over their love of Star Wars and building the fastest robot they could create.

Although many of the classes have a scientific theme there are also upcoming sessions on Junk Art and Pottery Art from the Heart. Younger students have the opportunity to take a junior edition of the Crazy Fun Science Lab and a class on Dr. Seuss on the Loose.

The final session is devoted to dance. The World of Dance is taught by Anna Crumley of Studio A Dance Conservatory. The class will teach students several different styles of dance including traditional dances from other cultures.

Parents who are interested in having their children experience classes at Kids College may still enroll their children. Most classes have a tuition fee. For more information call SFCC at 530-5822 or visit the website learningforce.

Sedalia Democrat
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