Robotics empowers summer campers to pursue careers in science and engineering


RAPID CITY, S.D. - Twelve students from across South Dakota and the region came to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology on July 21-26 for an intensive residential summer camp in robotics.

The campers stayed on campus and worked directly with Brian Fehrman, a master's degree candidate in Computational Science and Robotics at the School of Mines, as well as members of the SDSMT Robotics Team.

"Robotics is becoming more pervasive each day in areas spanning from the medical field to farming and beyond," Fehrman, who designed the camp, said. "Robotics summer camp helps prepare students to fill or even create these technical jobs that are much needed in South Dakota."

The 5-day curriculum included building, designing, coding, and programming robots to perform a variety of complex functions automatically and with a remote control. Teamwork is a key element of the camp; students were required to solve problems collaboratively and encouraged to help each other. 

The camp was made possible by a grant from the NASA Summer of Innovation program, which helped hire professional educators Diane Dittmer and Teresa Olson.

Other sponsors include Caterpillar, the engineering firm Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson, and the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium.

Students participating in the camp included McKayla Stratmeyer of Hermosa, SD; Bengt Symstad of Hot Springs; SD; Jason Kaufman of Marion, SD; Tristan Grablander of Mission, SD; Isaac Johnson of Rapid City, SD; Haley Patino of Sturgis, SD; Kara Secrest of Tea, SD; Lucas Schwader of Winifred, SD; Kaleb Weir of Hazen, ND; and McKayla Helm of Maple Park, IL.

For more information on this and other School of Mines camps in 2014, interested students, parents, and counselors may call (605) 394-2693. Updated information will be posted at as it becomes available.

Media Contact
Chris Marshall

(605) 394-2585



Check out our camp photos!

CTA photo 173