Letting off some STEAM

Humboldt Middle School students are learning the basics of computer coding, drone operations and robotics during a three-week Summer STEAM Academy.

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June 15, 2022 - 1:20 PM

Devlin Silvey, who will enter the seventh grade at Humboldt Middle School in the fall, controls a drone Wednesday morning during a Summer STEAM Academy activity in the Humboldt High School gymnasium. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

HUMBOLDT — The learning at Humboldt Middle School is picking up steam this month.

Middle-schoolers are in the midst of a three-week Summer STEAM Academy, where they are learning the basics of computer coding, drone operations and robotics.

The program is offered through Kansas State University and is funded through a Department of Defense — National Defensive Education program grant.

The first week focused on learning coding, instructor Darcie Croisant explained, while this week’s lessons utilized those coding skills to fly and control the drones.

The students learned takeoff and landing procedures, as well as basic maneuvers, from flying the aircraft in triangles, squares and even loops and flips.

By week’s end, the students will have earned TRUST certification, allowing them to fly drones recreationally.

Instructor Darcie Croisant, left, works with Humboldt Middle School student Bella Comstock on coding procedures for drone operations Wednesday during a Summer STEAM Academy lesson.Photo by Richard Luken

Next week’s courses cover basic robotics.

The program’s benefits won’t end at the conclusion of next week’s courses, Croisant noted.

That’s because the equipment purchased with the grant funding will stay with USD 258.

“We’ll be able to take what we learned about these process and apply them in the fall,” she said.

The Summer STEAM Academy brought in 18 HMS students. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math.

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