First Look at the Suncoast Science inaugural summer camps for kids grades 4-8; introducing CNC Fundamentals programming workshop for teens

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By: Carol Erickson

The Suncoast Science Center in Sarasota launches its new Summer Camp for Children

Children are our most valuable resource and their potential and opportunities are endless.  The new Suncoast Science
Center in Sarasota taps into that pint-size Einstein and offers 6 types of summer camps for kids from 4th to 8th grade.

One of the great features of the new camp is the way experiments are grouped together with a “theme” with varying degrees of complexity.  This allows each child to work at their own pace and get the most from their experience,  yet share their ideas and suggestions with other kids their own age.  Students are encouraged to explore,  create and program  during the class yet still have the freedom to use their own creativity and ideas.

If you are looking for new ways to introduce your child to a great way to learn about science and technology for everyday life with a twist of fun and dose if discovery,  this is your place.

For more information and a list of their weekly activities. ..check out




Suncoast Science launches inaugural summer camps for kids grades 4-8,
and introduces CNC Fundamentals programming workshop for teens

The Summer Science Youth program focuses on teaching kids the principles of S-T-E-A-M.
With a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, each session also infuses the “A” 

for art and creativity into the curriculum, enabling children to have fun exploring robotics, engineering, electronics, digital fabrication … all with a artistic flair!

SARASOTA, FL – June 12, 2015 – Suncoast Science / Faulhaber FAB LAB began its inaugural summer camp season this past week for children entering grades 4-8. The initial summer offerings run through August 14 and will provide opportunities for children to try their hands at scientific disciplines such as robotics, engineering, electronics, digital fabrication, programming, create problem solving, and more, in an atmosphere of fun and discovery.

Summer Science 4th-8th Grade offerings include:

  • LEGO Mania (4th-5th graders only): campers will create a variety of working LEGO machines;
  • Girls Engineering Workshop: girls only session “femgineers” will make their own lip blam, build contraptions, disassemble electronics to see how they work, and more;
  • Robotics Lab: students will program LEGO NXT robots to complete various challenges;
  • Fab Creations: participants will experiment with soldering, create electrical circuits, use cutting-edge digital technology to work with Faulhaber Fab Lab machines, and will develop their imaginations, while making various items they can take home at the end of the class;
  • Electrolab: Kids will discover the world of electronics and programming to create some zany projects; and even engineer a spy vs. spy team obstacle challenge with booby traps, culminating in a Parent Showcase at the end of the week.
  • Awesome Arduino (6th–8th graders only): Students will learn how to program and create musical instruments that play with the wave of a hand, secret code door locks, and lights that react to touch.

The week of June 8, Suncoast Science welcomed two dozen inspiring, inventive and inquisitive kids in at their season-opener summer camps: Electrolab and Fab Creations!

The Fab Kids learned the concepts of mechanical engineering, took their hand at soldering, experimented with a 3Doodler pen (Harry Potter glasses were a popular creation), and were fascinated with their many laser cut creations, including a small lantern they fabricated and wired to light up the night.

In Electrolab, students immersed themselves in the concept of electrical engineering using Little Bits kits, created spinning spiro-bots to draw custom artwork, made electrical circuits, and played with sensors, fans, and designed their very own Playdough moving zombies. The class culminated in a wild and wacky team Spy vs. Spy obstacle course where booby traps were set to go off as contestants entered the custom built courses.

New for Teens: CNC Fundamentals (Computer Numerical Control) Workshop

Designed especially for high school students, this 4-day hands-on workshop is limited to just eight (8) students and is designed as an immersion course in the use of CNC for prototyping and custom manufacturing. Students will experience the entire CNC process – from concept to cutting chips – with an emphasis on learning and building confidence. Participants will gain practical experience in CNC programming, machine control, and machining with a significant emphasis on computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), advanced CNC control, and work holding techniques. The course runs Monday through Thursday from 9am-5pm in three separate summer sessions on June 22-23-24-25, July 13, 14, 15, 16 and August 3, 4, 5, 6.

Instructor and course creator Dr. Alok Sharma is currently management consultant for Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing with over $23 billion in combined assets under management. Dr. Sharma was Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Alliances, at Harris-Stratex, Microwave Division of Harris Corporation (NYSE: HRS), where he was responsible for leading corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, as well as the development of key strategic relationships for the company. Sharma was Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Telsima Corporation, a global provider of 4G broadband wireless solutions, and Vice President and General Manager of the Worldwide Cable Business at Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR). He has held senior management and technical positions at Hewlett Packard, Fujitsu/Amdahl, Integrated Device Technology and Siara Systems, a metro routing company acquired by Redback/Ericsson. Alok currently serves on the Board of Sequans (NYSE: SQNS). He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, holds 7 patents, and has authored several articles in leading academic and trade publications.

“Children are naturally curious and love to learn,” said Ping Faulhaber, SSC’s Executive Director. “Not only will these summer explorations be fun and educational, they’ll also fuel a continuing curiosity for science, and we hope, will inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. It’s also important to note that programs like ours help to ensure students don’t lose ground educationally over the summer – summer learning loss is a widespread problem in the U.S.”

All of the SCC’s summer youth programs take place at Suncoast Science/Faulhaber FAB LAB (4452 Beneva Road, Sarasota; south of Wilkinson Road, next to the Florida House Institute.) Sessions for 4th-8th graders are $150 each, which includes all supplies, and are held 9am-noon Monday through Friday, limited to 15 students. The CNC Fundamentals Workshop fee is $500 per session and runs Monday through Thursday from 9am-5pm the weeks of June 22, July 13, and August 3. Limited seats are still available.
To register, go to or call 941.228.9889.

About Suncoast Science/Faulhaber FAB LAB

Suncoast Science Center (SSC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational consortium dedicated to the enrichment of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in our community. The organization’s mission is to supplement public and private education with a science center that stimulates curiosity, invention, and innovation to provide people of all ages the opportunity to actively engage in a fun, educational, and hands-on environment. The Faulhaber Fab Lab is the SSC’s digital fabrication lab where students, teachers, hobbyists, entrepreneurs, business owners, retirees, inventors, or anyone with curiosity and a tinkering spirit can make their ideas come to life. The Fab Lab opened to the public May 1, 2014 and offers fee-based memberships as well as free community programming.



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