Middle school students from the metro New Orleans area spent a week delving into engineering topics and creating projects to demonstrate those concepts as part of the University of New Orleans robotic eel camp.
“The goal of the camp was to expose middle school students to various engineering topics including 3D printing, electrical engineering, robot design, robot building, buoyancy and thrust/drag,” UNO engineering professor Brandon Taravella said.
The "PrivatEEL STEM" camp, led by UNO's School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, was funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research on July 12-16.
The students spent the week performing various STEM activities, such as building water bottle rockets and constructing and testing the strength of straw towers, Taravella said. The students also toured UNO’s engineering labs and created their own robotic eel.
Taravella is the recipient of several grants for his research into hydrodynamic propulsion that led to the creation of the robotic eel for use as an underwater drone, to search for mines and in data collection.
The camp culminated Friday with students testing their own robotic eel creation in the University’s recreation center pool.