Campers and instructors at Otis Technology

Automation and robotics play a huge roll in present day manufacturing as students in the 2023 M.A.S.T. Camp in Lewis County learned this summer.

This year’s annual camp at the JCC Lewis County Education Center presented students with one goal on Day 1: Create a proptotype of a factory that incorporates robots.

“That’s all we told them. They had to figure the rest out themselves over the remainder of the camp,” according to Mr. Geoffrey Buckingham, Math Instructor at Howard G. Sackett Technical Center who instructed the camp this year along with Mr. Walter Berwick, Instructor of the BOCES Engineering & Design program. 

Given the task, the campers who ranged in age from 11-14, went to work.  Researching, problem solving, and working together in teams to build their factories.  Students had to determine what they would be producing in their factories and how robots could be utilized in all aspects from beginning to end.

To help them with their research, students took a field trip to Otis Technology in Lyons Falls to witness for themselves the roles of robots in advanced manufacturing. Final presentations were held on the next to last day of the camp as the prototype factories were unveiled, producing everything from cars to pencils. 

It was not all work for those attending camp.  Each morning, student teams competed against each other through an engineering challenge exercise to get their teamwork and problem solving juices flowing. Each task earned the teams points, which also spurred some competitive juices. Campers were also able to take part in some outdoor recreational activities.

With this camp being held since 2016, BOCES has witnessed many campers returning for multiple years and later enrolling in Career & Technical Education courses at the Howard G. Sackett Technical Center. Kaitlyn Goutermout, a 2023 graduate of Copenhagen Central School, attended the Lewis County camps and later enrolled in the BOCES Engineering & Design program.  According to Mr. Berwick, she will be attending Clarkson University this fall and majoring in Aerospace Engineering.  She also assisted Mr. Berwick and Mr. Buckingham at this year’s camp. 

BOCES would like to thank Lewis County for sponsoring and providing financial support for the 2023 M.A.S.T. Camp. 

Visit out BOCES Summer Camp webpage for a photo gallery of the 2023 M.A.S.T. Camp.