RCBI’s 3D Printing and Maker Camps offered virtually this summer

Adapting to change and critical thinking are concepts taught at camps hosted by the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) at Marshall University each year. This summer, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, RCBI is putting those concepts into practice as it continues to offer its popular series of annual 3D Printing and Maker Camps virtually.

Students ranging in age from nine to 16 will learn about 3D design and printing, laser cutting, computer coding and electronics through on-line instruction, live video chats and video demonstrations.

In addition, robotics instruction, programming and resources will be shared with assistance from the NASA IV&V Education Resource Center.

“It’s been challenging, but we have put together vibrant content using robust open-source online platforms and tools to create fun challenges and hands-on activities for our campers,” said Deacon Stone, coordinator of RCBI’s Maker Vault and Innovation Center.

Participants will need access to a stable internet connection capable of streaming and a computer, netbook or Chromebook capable of running Google Chrome and Zoom.

This year’s camp experiences are funded by grants from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s Division of Science and Research; Suddenlink by Altice; and Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs, a national education foundation established by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International.

Charlotte Weber, Director & CEO of RCBI, praised each organization for its continued support of RCBI’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) initiatives. “Problem-solving is not only a concept we teach at RCBI, but is an everyday practice for our team,” Weber said. "We are so very grateful for the commitment demonstrated by these organizations in their continued support of our maker camps, especially now. Having to depart from our normal delivery of camp curriculum has challenged our creativity, but the vote of confidence from our partners is deeply gratifying.”

Although virtual, RCBI is dividing the camps into regions to ensure a geographically diverse group of students get to participate. Dates and locations for the 2020 camps, which run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily are:

  • South Charleston: July 6-10
  • Huntington: July 13-17
  • Bridgeport: July 20-24
  • Williamson: Aug. 3-7 

The cost is $25 per camper and immediately following the close of the camps, participants will receive their custom 3D print, 2D laser cut, camp T-shirt and certificate of completion by mail. Space is limited. Register at www.wvmakes.com/2020camps.

For more information about the 3D Printing & Maker Camps or any of RCBI’s STEM activities for young people and their families, contact Stone at 304.781.1659.