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Robots Don't Do All the Work at STAC Science Studies Sessions

Molly Doherty and Amy Ono decided they were going to make something out of their summer this year besides sitting in the sun and going to the beach.

And they did. They made something out of their summer. They made robots.


More specifically, Molly, 11, from New City, and Amy, 10, from Orangeburg, learned how to study, design, fabricate and operate a robot through their course work in an innovative summer science camp program for highly motivated area middle school students at St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) in Sparkill.   


The program just wrapped up its second summer under a two-year, $50,000 sponsorship grant from O&R. The company supported that program as part of O&R’s commitment to developing more community educational programs focusing on science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies.


This year’s program featured classes to develop in students the 21st century version of problem solving, teamwork, collaboration and communication. That development takes place in classes where students study virtual reality program development, drone flying and aerial video production, robotic design and application, forensic scientific analysis and the math mysteries surrounding the science of probability and its role in daily life. 


The STAC program began in 2012 with 26 students recruited from public and parochial schools in Rockland, northern Bergen and Southern Westchester counties. The program is offered to students entering grades six, seven and eight, meaning students range in age from 11 to 13 years-old.