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3 of 4 STEM summer boot camps filled
Robin Bradshaw holds her son Trenton as he looks through a reflector telescope for the first time to see the moon up close during last Fridays MELS Garage Star Party. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Manteca Unified students can tinker in MEL’S Garage this summer.
They’ll be able to design video games, learn the basics of robot building and programming, learn about the heavens with telescopes they can check out, and construct their own mini-quadcopters.
To underscore how the enrichment programs are resonating with students, registration for the Game Design Camp (June 6-9), Engineering Bootcamp (June 13-16), and Summer Astro Camp (June 27-30) have already filled up. There are still some spaces left in the Flight School 3D Project being offered June 20 to 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is open to all current MUSD 8th through 11th graders.
There is no charge for the program unless a student wants to keep the project they make. In the case of the flight school the fee is $60. Lunch is provided each day as well.
The Flight School 3-D Project teaches the fundamentals of multi-rotor flight, design and piloting. Students use 3D printers and Replicator G software to construct their own mini-quadcopters, and construct and build a brushless motor 250 racing copter and explore both FPV and autonomous GPS flight.
It goes without saying that MEL’S isn’t your father’s garage. It stands for Connecting Manufacturing & Engineering to Learning Through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).  It’s part of the Manteca Unified effort to expand learning beyond traditional curriculum.
The MEL’S Garage Star Party last Friday brought more than 150 students and their parents out to gaze at the heavens on a clear and chilly night using telescopes at the district office education campus at Louise Avenue and Airport Way.
A warehouse was converted at the district office complex that now houses charter academy, the school farm, adult school, and independent study to support STEM education efforts.
Descriptions of the three other STEM summer camps that have already been booked solid are as follows:
ENGINEERING BOOTCAMP: Students learn the basics of robot building and programming. Students will put together a small robot and learn the fundamentals of the Arduino language to program it to perform a variety of tasks. 
SUMMER ASTRO CAMP: Students learn how to use telescopes, observe the sun, moon, planets and other sky-wonders, make a star finder, create a scale-model of the solar system and spend hours inside a planetarium, plus other fun projects. Telescopes are available for student check-out. The workshop ends with a star party for students and families. 
GAME DESIGN CAMP: Students in this STEM+C Camp will learn video game development, from character design to basic programming and level design. Students will learn about the skills used to make video games, from concept artist to programmer, with hands on projects. No experience is needed, just a love of video games.
For more information visit the Manteca Unified website at