Queen's Summer Engineering academy

Online

We are proud to offer a full suite of QSEA programs online for the summer of 2020. These programs  are FREE and have been designed as  stand alone workshops for students in grades 2 and 3 (Kids), grades 4, 5 and 6 (Junior), grades 7 and 8 (Intermediate), and grades 9, 10 and 11 (Senior). 

Workshops will be offered online using Zoom on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings in July and August. In each workshop, students will learn about engineering, they will receive a short lesson on applicable content, and a step-by-step tutorial with any new technology or software. In order to limit screen time, our workshops are designed so that students engage with the instructor before working on the project on their own. Connections instructors will also be available for a question and answer period in the afternoons. 

QSEA Online - Kids

Below you will find a series of workshops for students currently in (or just finished) grades 2 and 3. For each workshop we have provided you with a short description of the activity as well as the required materials, technology requirements and parental engagement.

For session dates and registration information please visit our registration site

ACTION FIGURE FLOTATION DEVICE

Students will use the engineering design process to plan, design, build and test a flotation device for a small plastic toy. Students will investigate different flotation devices by exploring the function of boats, life jackets and pool floaties. Students will learn about the effects of different forces such as flotation and buoyancy.

Required materials:

  • Household items such as: scissors, tape, plastic bottle, corks, straws, paper, tinfoil, pencil, small and aplastic toy

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities

Parent Engagement: Low

  • Parents will need to help students log into the zoom call and gather materials.
  • Parents may want to supervise students when testing their flotation devices over a sink with water.

BUILDING THE STRONGEST STRUCTURE  

Students will use the engineering design process to build a small structure, using their choice of available household materials and recyclables that can support as much weight and force as possible. In this workshop, students will learn about structures and explore factors affecting their strength and stability. They will apply these concepts in creating a structure that can withstand weight and force on all sides.

Required materials:

  • Pencil and paper
  • Construction materials such as popsicle sticks, straws, chopsticks, dowel, cardboard, scissors, tape and/or hot glue etc.
  • Books (or a similar alternative) to test weight
  • Hair dryer or fan to test stability (optional)

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities

Parent engagement: low to moderate

  • Students should ask a parent/guardian to help them collect materials prior to the activity
  • Parent/guardian supervision may be required depending on the type of materials that students choose to use (e.g. scissors, hot glue gun, hair dryer/fan, etc.)

ENGINEERING AN IRRIGATION SYSTEM

Students will explore the water cycle and investigate the needs of living things. Students will have the opportunity to engineer their own irrigation systems that will help the plants around them grow big and strong.

Required materials:

  • Pencil + paper
  • Plastic water bottle or cup
  • Household materials like tape, cardboard, scissors, sticks

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities

Parent engagement: low to moderate

  • Engagement/assistance might be required when using scissors and testing the device outside.

STEM WOMEN OF THE PAST: INTRODUCING ADA LOVELACE AND COMPUTER PROGRAMMING (GIRLS ONLY)

Introducing Ada Lovelace! Primary Students will learn of Augusta Ada King (aka Ada Lovelace) and her development of the first algorithm, making her one of the first known computer programmers. Students will learn the basics of computer programming through a fun, unplugged activity introducing binary code.

Required materials:

  • Pen and paper (or access to a printer)

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities
  • Access to a printer (or pen and paper)

Parent engagement: Low

  • Students may need help logging onto Zoom and cutting with scissors

AIR POWERED CAR

During this workshop, students will use the Engineering Design Process to design, build, test and fix/improve an air powered car using easy-to-access materials found throughout their homes. This workshop will require students to merge their creative side with their understanding of structures, mechanics and assess the impact on society and the environment of simple machines that allow movement.

Required materials:

  • Construction materials such as cardboard, scissors, tape, pencil, paper, wooden dowels (chopsticks, BBQ skewers, pencils, etc. will also work!)

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities

Parent engagement: Low to moderate

  • Students may need help logging onto Zoom and cutting with scissors
  • Parents should also be prepared to provide additional assistance depending on the construction materials selected by the student

QSEA Online - Intermediate

Below you will find a series of workshops for students currently in (or just finished) grades 7 and 8. For each workshop we have provided you with a short description of the activity as well as the required materials, technology requirements and parental engagement.

For session dates and registration information please visit our registration site

STEM WOMEN OF THE PAST: RADIA PERLMAN, THE INTERNET AND ALGORITHMS (GIRLS ONLY)

Introducing Radia Perlman! Students will be introduced to woman in STEM Radia Perlman and her accomplishments in computer science that would be integral to the creating of the Internet. Students will learn about how the internet and algorithms work and have the opportunity to create their own algorithm.

Required materials: None

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities

Parental engagement: Low

RUBE GOLDBERG MACHINES IN QUARANTINE

What’s a Rube Goldberg Machine you say? A Rube Goldberg Machine is intentionally designed to perform a simple task in an indirect and overly complicated way. Students will follow the engineering design process to plan, build and test a Rube Goldberg Machine that helps with a problem associated with COVID-19. Students should use household or recyclable materials to set off a chain of events that eventually leads to a final task.

Required materials:

  • Household materials such as balls, ramps, dominos, string, elastic bands, cardboard, spoons, paper towel tubes, clothes pins, marbles, toy cars, tape….anything!!

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities

Parental engagement: Low to moderate

  • Parents should be prepared to provide some level of assistance in completing this project.

PYTHON ARRAYS: BATTLESHIP

You sunk the enemy’s battleship! Students will develop basic programming skills and an understanding of array systems in a beginner friendly language. A brief teaching session will be followed by a step-by-step tutorial to code their own version of the classic board game, Battleship, using arrays in Python (coding language).

Required materials: None

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities
  • Python notebook files for upload to Google Collaboratory, provided by instructor·
  • Access to a Google account

Parental engagement: Low

  • Parents may need to help students upload files. These files will be provided by the instructor

WATER PURIFICATION PROJECT

How clean is your water? Students will investigate the impact of human activity on the Earth’s water systems. They will be tasked with designing a sustainable/economically feasible solution for a developing country where access to potable water is limited. Students will apply the engineering design process to design, build and test their own water filtration devices using household items and various organic materials.

Required materials:
Rocks/Gravel, fine sand, coarse sand, coffee filter, elastic bands, dirty water (water with soil in it), empty clear 2L bottle (plastic water bottle works as well), food colouring

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities

Parent engagement: Low

  • Parents may want to assist students when cutting the plastic 2L bottle in half. Additionally, parents may want to supervise students using the required materials, this activity could be messy.

QSEA Online - Junior

Below you will find a series of workshops for students currently in (or just finished) grades 4, 5 and 6. For each workshop we have provided you with a short description of the activity as well as the required materials, technology requirements and parental engagement. 

For session dates and registration information please visit our registration site

SCRATCH: MARS ROVER

Take your coding and design skills to the surface of the red planet! Using Scratch block coding, students will follow the engineering design process to program a Mars rover to avoid obstacles and achieve objectives, collecting resources for their Mars colony.

Required materials: None

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities
  • Scratch project file template, provided by instructor
  • Scratch account

Level of Parental Engagement: Moderate (Preparation)

  • Parent’s may need to help students make a Scratch account using a valid email address
  • Parent’s may need to help students upload the project template to Scratch or download their finished Scratch projects to share with the instructor for feedback

STEM WOMEN OF THE PAST: INTRODUCING DR. ROBERTA BONDAR AND SPACE EXPLORATION (GIRLS ONLY)

Introducing Dr. Roberta Bondar! Students will learn of Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first female astronaut and her contribution to space exploration. They will be introduced to the importance of space exploration and present-day contributions of space science to the quality of our lives. Students will then apply their new knowledge of space science to model a space exploration mission in CoSpaces.

Required materials:

  • Pen and paper

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities
  • Access to CoSpaces; create a student account in advance

Parent engagement: Low

  • Students may need help logging onto Zoom/CoSpaces

PLAYING WITH PARACHUTES

Have you ever wondered how parachutes work? During this workshop, students will learn about aerodynamics and explore the forces that make flight possible. Students will then have opportunity to design, build, and test their own parachute to observe and experience these forces in action.

Required materials:

  • Pencil and paper
  • Household materials such as tape, paper, cardboard, scissors, plastic bags, string, etc.

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities

Parent Engagement: Low

  • Supervision may be required when testing the parachutes.

DESIGNING A DRAWBRIDGE

Students will learn how to use pulleys and gears in application to a bridge traversing a body of water while also learning about building materials and strong/weak structural shapes. Students will use their learning to design a drawbridge over a sink of water to simulate the relationship between land and sea transportation.

Required materials:

  • Various construction materials such as tape, cardboard, wood planks, string, straws, toothpicks, a sink, glue/glue gun, dowels, etc.

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities

Level of Parent Engagement: Low

  • Parents should be prepared to provide some assistance to the students while they build the physical bridges

MINERALS AND MINING

Students will engage in an introduction to geology and mining by learning of the properties of different minerals found in the Earth’s crust and how they are mined. They will then engage in an interactive coding activity that will produce a fun mining demonstration. Let’s get digging!

Required materials:

  • A pencil (preferably wooden)

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities
  • Access to Scratch

Parent engagement: Low

  • Students may require assistance while logging onto Zoom/Scratch

DIY ROBOTIC HAND

Students will explore the motion of the human hand by discussing then components of the human hand, such as bones, muscles and joints. Students will use the engineering design process to plan, build, test and fix an object that uses mechanical motion. Students will create a prototype of a human hand using various materials found around the house.

Required Materials:

  • Construction paper, scissors, straws, tape, string

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities

Parent engagement: Low

  • Parents may want to supervise/help students will tracing/cutting out a copy of the student’s hand. Additionally, parents may need to help students log on to the zoom call.

FLYING ECO-CRAFT

Students will receive an introduction to the CAD modelling software Tinkercad by designing their own environmentally friendly aircraft. In this workshop, students will explore the societal implications of air travel, the properties that make flight possible, and the applications of renewable energy sources in travel. They will use these principles, in combination with geometry and spatial skills, in designing a 3-D model of an aircraft powered completely by renewable energy.

Required materials:

  • Pencil and paper to draw design

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities
  • Access to Tinkercad; create account in advance
  • Access to CoSpaces (optional extension)

Parent engagement: Low

  • Students may require assistance from parents/guardian to log into the meeting or any of the technologies
  • Students may need to use a parent/guardian’s email address to log into the technologies

ECO-HOUSE

During this workshop, students will use the Engineering Design Process to design, build, test and fix/improve a tiny house using easy-to-access materials found throughout their homes. This workshop will require students to merge their creative side with their understanding of structures, habitats, and environmental awareness.

Required materials:

  • Construction materials such as tape, cardboard, paper, scissors, rulers, pencils and other household items

Technology requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities

Parent Engagement: Low

  • Parents should be prepare to provide assistance with cutting thicker construction materials

WIND TURBINE

Throughout this project, students will use the engineering design process (design, build, test, fix/improve) to create their own wind turbines. They will use research skills in order to learn about the different characteristics and features of wind turbines, they will critically think about their own designs and will use materials sourced at home build a prototype of a wind turbine!

Required materials:

  • Construction materials such as tape, cardboard, paper, scissors, rulers, pencils, paper cups and other household items

Technology Requirements:

  • Computer/tablet with internet connection and video camera and microphone capabilities

Parent engagement: Low

  • Parents should be prepare to provide assistance with cutting thicker construction materials
  • Parents may also need to minimal provide assistance during assembly

QSEA Online - Senior

More information regarding program descriptions and workshop dates coming soon – stay tuned! 



QSEA Online Pricing

Thanks to the generosity of the Actua Network and their national funders, there are no fees associated with QSEA Online for the summer of 2020.

Frequently asked questions

Connections staff has chosen Zoom as our online platform because of its accessibility to students and families. We are aware of the safety risks associated with this platform and will be including the following measures to ensure the safety of our participants and instructors:

  • Meeting details will only be provided to participants registered for the program. Meeting details will not be made public
  • Connections staff will take attendance ahead of the workshop to ensure that only students registered for the program are in attendance
  • Meetings will be set with a waiting room so that students cannot enter the meeting until we are set to begin
  • Meetings will be locked 
  • There will be two instructors for each session; they will take turns instructing while the other moderates the group chat. 

Yes! Our staff have prepared workbooks/support materials that will assist students in their learning, these and other helpful resources will be emailed to parents prior to the workshop. 

Students who have registered for a workshop will have access to a question and answer period (via Zoom) where they can ask any questions that they may have. 

YES! Connections’ workshops are NOT a form of virtual child care. Parents/guardians must be at home when your child is participating. 

There are some workshops where the students may need assistance from an adult to participate in the workshop. So, please read the parent engagement levels carefully prior to registering your child.  

If you have any further questions regarding the Queen’s Summer Engineering Academy, please do not hesitate to Contact Us

Connections' Response to COVID-19 - Queen’s Summer Camps Cancelled

Given the current public health environment and challenges presented by physical distancing, Queen’s has made the difficult decision to cancel all in-person youth camps normally delivered throughout the summer. As a result, Connections Engineering Outreach is unable to facilitate our on-campus programs this summer. We understand that this news comes at a difficult time, but the health and safety of campers and camp staff is the university’s top priority. Although we are disappointed that we are not able to run our on-campus programs, our goal is to provide safe, engaging, and enriching virtual content throughout the summer. We ask for your patience as we continue to work out the details of these programs. For those who have already registered and paid for one of our summer programs, a full refund will follow within the next two weeks. We will also send a confirmation email once the refund has been processed. If you have any concerns or questions regarding the refund process, please contact desuree.degagne@queensu.ca The university knows that the camp experience is an important one for children and counsellors. Queen’s camps have been a popular tradition in Kingston for years, and the university looks forward to maintaining that tradition once it is safe to do so.