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Fresh faces take hard look at engineering with Legos

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/27/18/01/iQzQy.Em.138.jpeg|316
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    At the Wells Fargo atrium in uptown Charlotte, Tyrese Blakeney, 9, of Bruns Academy, and Kevin Nie, 10, of Thomasboro Academy, play with their Lego turbine. The students have been in a two-week camp with coding and Lego robotics.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/27/18/01/15tzvM.Em.138.jpeg|202
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Macy Parker and Lara Harris of L.I.F.T. high five Justine Wiley, 11, of Bruns Academy as they congratulate her on her lego seed sowing machine, designed to plant things using solar energy, at Friday's L.I.F.T Robotics showcase at Wells Fargo Atrium.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/27/18/01/15xOw.Em.138.jpeg|199
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Audrey Evans uses her hands to activate the sensor of a solar panel-powered lego car made by Raquan Evans, 10, which starts and stops moving by sensor, at Friday's L.I.F.T Robotics showcase at Wells Fargo Atrium. Fourth, fifth and sixth grade students in Project L.I.F.T. got to show off their robots and computer skills during a Robotics showcase from 10:30 a.m. until noon in the Wells Fargo Atrium. These scholars have been in a two-week camp using computer coding and Lego Robotics to create sustainable energy solutions for Charlotte and beyond. This summer learning opportunity was funded through a teacher innovation grant and a partnerships with UNCC Center City and the Wells Fargo Atrium. The courses are taught by technology facilitators who want to provide STEM opportunities to help students become aware of possible careers in engineering and computer science. These careers are in significant demand throughout Charlotte and the entire nation.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/27/18/01/F2Dkz.Em.138.jpeg|226
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    The Wells Fargo atrium on Friday became a Project LIFT showcase.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/27/18/01/e9FNd.Em.138.jpeg|210
    Diedra Laird - dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
    Siblings Maxwell Thompson, 4, and Quinn Thompson, 3, inspect a lego submarine powered by wind power by Christopher Pate, 11, of Bruns Academy at Friday's L.I.F.T Robotics showcase at Wells Fargo Atrium.

Robotic cars, boats and even textile looms made of Legos were on display Friday at the Wells Fargo atrium in uptown Charlotte.

They were the work of students in Project LIFT schools who took part in a two-week summer program that mixed computer programming, robotics and lessons on sustainable energy. Project LIFT is a public-private partnership to boost academic success at West Charlotte High and its eight Charlotte-Mecklenburg feeder schools.

The robotics program, open to students in grades four through six, was funded with a teacher innovation grant and supported by UNC Charlotte Center City. It’s designed to pique students’ interest in engineering and computer science. Staff reports

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