What child has not been fascinated by the earth moving equipment on a construction site? In this program, your child learns about simple machines and how a hydraulic system transmits power to move parts of a machine.
• A five-day, Monday to Friday program:
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day
• Optional extended care:
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. $50 per week and/or
4:00 – 6:00 p.m. $95 per week
• Optional lunch: N/A
• Apply for our Counselor in Training (CIT) program:
Rising 10th-12th grade students call (315) 773-5673
• Limited to 12 children, rising 4th to 9th grade
• Scholarships available by calling (315) 773-5673
• $25 sibling or multi-session discount applies
• Share a referral coupon code!
• Child to instructor & assistant ratio is 6:1 or less
• Your instructor: Megan DeSanty, an engineering major
Robotics Engineering and Computer Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute GPA: 3.90/4.0
Megan is a passionate engineer with hands-on experience designing, implementing, and testing various robot mechanisms. Combine this with how she loves to work with children and one can only imagine the machines your budding engineer will come up with.
It is said that engineers like to take things apart, even if they don’t need fixing. Sooo, for this mechanical engineering STEM program, Megan will offer up actual hydraulic components and the tools needed to, well you know, fix them!
We start with an overview on how hydraulics work within simple machines. Children then experiment with the build components in the makerspace to see how they connect and work together. Our corporate sponsor, Caterpillar, provides a custom photo tour of an earth moving machine so your child can see its features close-up, and then model one of its hydraulic systems.
We also work with 1:50 scale models of Caterpillar machines for a hands-on perspective on machine design. We explore the design process and consider safety, ethics, selling an idea, cost to build, cost to maintain, and specifications. Your child builds one project to take home, and reverse engineers others that are then broken into component parts for other makerspace users to work with.
An actual hydraulic cylinder, motor and a pump are provided so that our budding engineers can have a go at taking them apart. Along the way, parts are identified. Close examination reveals how they were made. When the children are done with them, the cylinder and pump are reassembled. Engineers determine the specifications for hydraulic components. By taking these apart, your child literally gets hands-on, with those specifications!
Our scale models of earth movers give context, strengthening your child’s understanding of how a hydraulic system can be used to do work. Children are introduced to the idea of engineering principles, and how they are applied to inventing a machine. Hands-on tinkering is an important part of the process, freeing the imagination and helping to view a problem in different ways. The makerspace components help hone your child’s spatial perception and ability to envision the geometry, the overall form, and the function of the machine they are creating and building. Finally, children are eager to share their STEM creations, simultaneously developing their social and communication skills and reinforcing what they have learned.