By Kim Chaudoin on 6/6/2011
Lipscomb University’s Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering recently received a $40,000 grant from Nissan Americas to fund the university’s summer Engineering and Robotics Camps. The contribution supports scholarships for participants as well as underwrites program costs.
More than 100 students will be attending the camps this summer. To get the students excited about engineering and building robots, the Lipscomb faculty will use a combination of classroom learning, individual instruction, construction projects and competition events. In addition, students will have a field trip to the Nissan Smyrna plant to see first-hand how robots are used in the manufacturing process.
“This is a great opportunity for us to partner with Nissan, who is a leader in the field of engineering. It enhances the program that we offer. It also allows us to offer scholarships to make this competition accessible to more students,” said Fred Gilliam, dean of the Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering.
Education is a key focus of giving at Nissan. In addition to supporting the Engineering and Robotics camps, Nissan has also provided funding for and partnered with Lipscomb on the BEST program. BEST — Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology — is a nonprofit volunteer-based organization, which organizes the annual six-week competition designed for middle and high school students to encourage them to pursue careers in engineering, science and technology.
“The summer camps align with our corporate giving priority on math and science educational programs,” said Susan Brennan, vice president, manufacturing, Nissan Americas. “We are excited to partner with Lipscomb to build excitement in young people to pursue careers in engineering.”
In addition to the grant, Nissan engineers will volunteer at the camp to share their expertise about various engineering projects and technology.
Four Robotics Camps will be offered this summer. These camps include:
• Fundamentals BisonBot Robotic Camp for students ages 10-14. June 6-10. Campers will learn basic robotic principles involving electrical circuits, batteries, switches, DC motors and robotic arm- and hand actuators. They will build their own challenging six-degree-of-freedom robotic arm as well. Fundamentals camp concludes with a robotic competition.
• Advanced BisonBot Robotic Camp for students ages 12 and older. June 13-17. Designed for students with some robot experience, this camp will extend their knowledge in mechanical and electrical principles, as well as provide them with opportunities to learn and apply various robot design and construction techniques. Advanced camp concludes with a head-to-head robot competition involving robots of the camper’s own design and construction.
• Junior BisonBots Camp for students ages 8-11. June 20-24. This camp introduces young students to basic mechanics, electricity and robotics concepts through a variety of in-class and studio-based exercises. With an emphasis on hands-on learning, many activities are planned which introduce the children to concepts such as electrons and current flow, simple DC circuits, motors, axles, and wheels, and the application of these concepts to robotics.
• Robotics Academy for students ages 13 and older. June 20-24. This robotics experience is for students age 13 and above and extends the camper's previous knowledge of robotics by introducing them to programming concepts. Both graphical and procedural programming methods are taught, introducing the software engineering concepts of algorithm and program design, sensor interfacing, basic microprocessor input/output, and variable-speed motor control. Campers receive their own programmable “Scribbler” robot and program development environment.
About Lipscomb University’s Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering
Lipscomb University’s Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering offers seven majors that lead to a Bachelor of Science degree. These majors include two, engineering mechanics and computer engineering, that are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
About Nissan Americas
In the Americas, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and was recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 and 2011. More information on Nissan in North America, the Nissan LEAF and zero emissions can be found at www.nissanusa.com
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second largest Japanese automotive company by volume, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan and is an integral pillar of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 150,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4 million vehicles in 2010. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades including the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year award.