Students from TCTC bring robots to children at TCAP Head Start

Tribune Chronicle / Bob Coupland Noah Marsh, 16, an engineering student from Trumbull Career and Technical Center, assists Kiyana Salters, 4, a TCAP Head Start student, Thursday with using a remote control to move a robot. TCTC students visited the school as part of a technology and engineering learning day.

WARREN — Five-year-olds Mariah Claecy and Zion Henderson were both excited to use remote controls to get several robots to move across the floor at the Trumbull Community Action Program on Thursday.

The two students were among more than 100 children ages 3 to 5 who attend the TCAP Head Start programs who spent part of their day learning about technology and engineering with a visit from more than 20 students in the engineering program at Trumbull Career and Technical Center.

Terri Fleming, engineering technology instructor at TCTC, said the juniors and seniors in the program spent the morning preparing for their visit to TCAP by bringing straws, rockets, crayons, necklaces, blocks and robots for the preschool-aged children to use at six stations.

Fleming said the TCTC students have been to TCAP for the past four years, often making two visits per school year.

She said the TCTC students led several holiday-themed activities, which includedcoloring trees with different shapes, constructing with blocks, launching rockets, making necklaces with bells and seeing and controlling robots.

”The activities allow for children to see shapes and patterns,” she said explaining children at a very young age can begin using science and technology in learning.

Tod Schnulo, center supervisor and STEM coordinator at TCAP, said much of the learning for the students incorporates science, technology, engineering and math skills.

”We are always pleased to have the Trumbull Career and Technical Center students come to TCAP to help teach the children. The children enjoy the interaction with the older students and the hands-on-learning,” Schnulo said.

He said the TCTC program provides a different way for the children to learn new things.

Austin Potase, 16, and Jon Elliot, 17, said the TCTC students could volunteer to work at any of the stations, but most students were needed at the robots station, which always receives the most interest from the young children.