West Virginia University at Parkersburg wraps up Kids’ College
Jul 31, 2023
Alex Greathouse, left, and Mia Ball, right, launch a 2-liter bottle rocket they made as part of the Space and Rocketry course during West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s Kids’ College program. (Photo Provided)
PARKERSBURG — West Virginia University at Parkersburg has partnered with Hino Motors Manufacturing of Mineral Wells to provide cobot and welding training to students during Kids’ College.
Kids’ College is an annual program, mainly taught by WVUP faculty, that introduces youth to various college courses and career paths. WVUP hosted three weeks of classes in June, where students could pick four subjects per week. About 40 students attended each week.
Topics included arts and crafts, media studies, general programming, welding, beginner drawing, chemistry, farm technology, cobot, bookmaking, archeology, music technology, photography, Tree-riffic Trees and Plants, intro to making, geology, space and rocketry, journaling, Bird-o-Rama and music technology.
Roger Thulasi, senior production engineer at Hino and cobot instructor, taught students what cobots are and how to program them. A cobot is a collaborative robot intended for direct interaction with humans in a shared space. Thulasi said this partnership is important because it helps students engage with newer technologies.
“We believe these kids are the future,” said Thulasi. “Hino wants to reach the kids in the community and support them.”
Adrienne Love, owner of For Goodness Snakes 8, teaches students about different types of reptiles during West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s Kids’ College program. (Photo Provided)
Ed Shaw, maintenance manager and welding instructor, said in his class, students learned about metal inert gas (MIG) welding and proper personal protective equipment usage. For their final project, students welded their initials onto metal plates. Shaw said it is important to introduce youth to welding as it is the backbone of the current world and is responsible for creating many of the commercial products used daily.
WVUP also worked with Jennifer Wallace, program assistant at the WVU Extension office in Wood County, who taught Bird-O-Rama and Tree-riffic Trees and Plants.
“I feel these subjects are important to teach the children because they should understand their roles as stewards to the earth and how we can protect our natural resources, and that nature can help us too,” said Wallace.
Students brought designs to life in the WVUP Makerspace, launched rockets made from 2-liter soda bottles, went on an archeological dig, learned how to milk a cow and created their own movies, among other things.
“We are pleased with the Kids’ College 2023 reboot. The kids enjoyed experiencing new opportunities and engaged in their classes, and numbers exceeded expectations,” said Abby Campbell, Workforce and Economic Development division program coordinator. “Several kids commented that they don’t normally like school, however, they loved Kids’ College. We look forward to bringing back this experience for 8-12-year-olds each summer and only look for this program to grow.”
Roger Thulasi tells his class about cobots and how they are used at Hino Motors Manufacturing during West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s Kids’ College program. (Photo Provided)
Ava Larkins, left, and Emma Dotson, right, create crystal geodes with sodium borate as a part of their geology class during West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s Kids’ College program. (Photo Provided)
Students learn how to milk a cow as part of the Farm Technology class during West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s Kids’ College. (Photo Provided)
Landon Morgan, left, and Payton Insley, right, participate in an archeological dig during West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s Kids’ College program. (Photo Provided)
Students hold up their certificates after graduating from West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s Kids’ College program. (Photo Provided)
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