SAVANNAH, Ga. (June 6, 2011)—Georgia Tech Savannah hosted 20 PRISM Scholars from Savannah State University that participated in a STEM-related Discovery Learning Activity that took place over three days, May 31 – June 2, 2011. PRISM is funded by the National Science Foundation and its goal is to increase the interest and appreciation of Savannah State University students in math and science majors through scholarships, field work, lab applications and a monthly seminar series. The Summer Discovery Learning program was designed to expose the PRISM Scholars to key mathematical, physical or computer science principles with a fun, hands-on approach.
In conveying these concepts, the Discovery Learning Activity employed Lego Mindstorm NXT, a series of programmable robotics kits. The PRISM Scholars were introduced to the program through first dissecting the Lego robots, making sure to point out the roles that each piece played in the robot. They were then allowed to assemble their own robots and better understand the basic operations of the robots by way of simple programming competitions.
Days two and three of the Discovery Learning Activity consisted of problem-based learning, team-building and programming activities that utilized robots in more sophisticated operations. The PRISM Scholars were introduced to the concepts of sound, light and color sensors. Small teams were formed and strategies were developed for programming their robots in response to a number of team challenges they were asked to participate in.
The Discovery Learning Activity concluded with winning teams being awarded their prizes---and all participants receiving a Georgia Tech Savannah t-shirt.
The event and its activities were coordinated by Dr. Dirk Schaefer, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Elliot Moore, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Additionally, three Georgia Tech Savannah undergraduate students mentored and supported the PRISM Scholars over the full course of the activity. The PRISM program is a collaboration between Savannah State University and Georgia Tech Savannah that focuses on showing the importance of math in all STEM areas and how a strong foundation in math is critical to plan and operate the commercial/industrial enterprises of the Savannah region.
For more information about the PRISM Program and the Summer Discovery Learning Program, please go to: