In the Fall, members of SMART volunteer as mentors for the middle school lego robotics program. We spent every Tuesday with the kids helping them achieve their goals for building, designing, and programing their robots. We helped them along on their projects, giving them ideas and guidance when needed, but we tried not to interfere too much with their original ideas.

Youths, mentors focus on robotics in summer camp

DONNA M. PERRY/SUN JOURNAL

Devin Maillet, right, of East Dixfield, builds a robot Wednesday during the Spruce Mountain Area Robotics Team summer camp at Spruce Mountain Middle School in Jay. Student mentor Dustin Jones of Jay works beside him.

JAY – Twenty-two youths are attending the Lego League summer camp this week to learn how to build and program robots to perform tasks.

DONNA M. PERRY/SUN JOURNAL

Lego League campers and student and adult mentors at robotics camp at Spruce Mountain Middle School in Jay are, fromt left: first row, Bryan Riley, Cameron Palmer, Maguire Anuszewski, Sam Gould, Natalie Luce, Chandler Pike, Rachel Pike and Abby Moreau; second row, Evan Stone, Hunter Quirrion, Abigail Castonguay, Tanna Herlihy, Alana McDaniel, Michael Jones, John Brenner and William Brenner; third row, Preston Townsend, Trevor Haynes, Isaiha Williams, Brian Hayes, Devin Maillet and Shane Riley; fourth row, James Herlihy, Chloe Flagg, Alexa Perkins, Jacob Luce, Camden Noll and Shelby Bryant; fifth row, Brian Jones, Ben Nichols, Erik Taylor, Dustin Jones, Ian Gingras and Dan Lemieux; back, Rob Taylor and Jill Gingras.

DONNA M. PERRY/SUN JOURNAL

Bins of Lego parts sit on a table Wednesday at the Spruce Mountain Area Robotics Team summer camp at the Spruce Mountain Middle School in Jay.

DONNA M. PERRY/SUN JOURNAL

Students Cameron Palmer, left, Sam Gould, across from him on left, and Maquire Anuszewski show mentor Dan Lemieux how a voice-activated robot works Wednesday during the Spruce Mountain Area Robotics Team summer camp for Lego League at Spruce Mountain Middle School in Jay.

The Spruce Mountain Area Robotics Team is hosting the four-day camp at Spruce Mountain Middle School. It ends Thursday. Its purpose is to train youths for Lego League teams and allow mentors to give back to the community, mentor Dan Lemieux said.

“It is amazing that they can take all these little parts and make something of it,” adult mentor Jill Gingras said, as she watched seventh-grader Devin Maillet of East Dixfield work on his robot.

“It’s weird that all these little parts can build something that is actually pretty big,” student mentor Shelby Bryant said.

Maillet, who will attend Mt. Blue Middle School in the fall, worked on a team and then decided to build a robot of his own.

“I’ve worked with Legos my whole life, pretty much, and being able to work with robotics is new but also familiar,” he said.

Robotics team members taught younger students, as Lemieux and adult mentors Gingras and Rob Taylor helped others.

“We are trying very hard to step back and let the student mentors teach the kids,” Taylor said.

Some of the youths have participated in Spruce Mountain Lego and robotics programs, including attending state and national competitions.

dperry@sunjournal.com