PEMBROKE — Cummings Aerospace facilitated a day of exploration for high schoolers attending Project 3C Aerospace and Engineering Careers Camp. Twenty summer campers traveled to Huntsville on July 20 to spend the day at Cummings Aerospace.
Project 3C STEM summer camps, held at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, are for American Indian youth who reside in counties of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina service areas. The program is intended to expose students to STEM careers, the college environment at UNCP and American Indian history and culture.
There are several different programs for children of varying ages. Students admitted to the five-day program reside at UNCP residential halls, with visits to external sites. Cummings Aerospace contributed to the Aerospace and Engineering Careers Camp for rising high sophomores, juniors and seniors. Sheila Cummings is the founder, president and CEO of Cummings Aerospace. A Pembroke native and member of the Lumbee Tribe, Cummings began her educational career at UNCP before completing an aerospace engineering degree at the University of Maryland.
While at the Cummings Aerospace facility, the students participated in hands-on workshops where they were exposed to the realms of aerospace, mechanical, electrical, and modeling and simulation engineering.
In the aerospace engineering workshop, students learned basic principles of mass properties, lift, drag and aerodynamic stability. They used their new knowledge to build and fly hand-launched gliders. Exploration of mechanical engineering involved learning about pressure, static and dynamic loads, and how to build efficient structures. Campers designed, constructed and tested balsa wood bridges.
They also built compressed air ping pong ball cannons using PVC pipes. In the electrical engineering workshop, students learned how to use a breadboard to create simple circuits, including a circuit divider, and constructed an Arduino-based “radar.”
Students in the modeling and simulation breakout learned how to use Cummings Aerospace’s Simulation Framework Toolkit software. They were tasked with using the SFT app to model solutions to hypothetical military defense scenarios. The students worked together to agree upon strategies to be modeled, given asset and budget limitations, then observed how SFT could simulate probable outcomes based on their decisions.
Project 3C is a federal grant awarded to the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Indian Education. A consortium of representatives from the Lumbee Tribe, Public Schools of Robeson County, Robeson Community College and UNCP collaborate to provide American Indian students in grades 1-12 from the Lumbee Tribe’s service area — Cumberland, Hoke, Robeson and Scotland counties — with opportunities to deepen their interests in STEM.