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Summer STEM camp offers hands on tech lessons
STEM glider

They spent several days designing and building their radio controlled glider planes.

On Thursday, students in this last of the Manteca Unified STEM Summer Camp held at Manteca High had a chance to see if their glider would take flight, using the MHS softball field to conduct the test runs.

Adam West, an incoming freshman at East Union High, tasted bittersweet success as his R/C glider got off the ground before experiencing technical difficulties.

"It was a short flight," said teacher Doug Obrigawith, who goes by 'Mr. O' — he had 14 students in the build-your-own remote control glider class.

West, who attended Great Valley Academy, a charter school in Salida, heard of this STEM Summer Camp from his friend James Enos, who, after attending Neil Hafley Elementary School, is also bound for East Union.

This STEM Summer Camp, part of MELS — Connecting Manufacturing & Engineering to Learning from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) — Garage, was available to seventh- through- 12th- grade students entering MUSD.

For West, this was his first time putting together a remote control plane. He was no stranger to the technology.

"I've built (R/C) cars, boats, crawlers," West said. "I think it helped having that experience."

Each of the gliders was constructed with an aerodynamic cardboard body and a small propeller motor. West had to re-attach the kit engine, which broke off during the short maiden flight.

His glider was the only one that went airborne during the initial test flight.

Students, who can control the flight pattern on the ground via remote control, will come away with a glider suitable for flying in the local parks.

Obrigawith completed his fourth year doing the STEM Summer Camp.

The MHS Math teacher handled the Advanced Robotics Summer Camp and, in 2017, he did the Robotics & Electronics Summer Camp.