For the first time, the Town of Cutler Bay hosted a Back-to-School Bash and Robotics Exhibition at Cutler Ridge Park on Saturday, Aug. 12.
More than 500 participants attended, mostly students and their families.
The town presented a number of ways to prepare youngsters for going back to school in an event that featured booths representing local public schools, community resources, health and safety demonstrations, information on the town’s recreational programs and events and even a fingerprinting booth.
There were bounce houses, a video game bus, police vehicles and fire truck displays, free food, music and a bike helmet and backpack giveaway for residents.
During the summer the town had introduced the Careers in STEM Summer Camp. This six-week summer camp for middle school students taught principles of science, technology, engineering and math through the use of robotics, science experiments, and educational field trips.
Through the Town’s partnership with Miami Dade College and Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Academy, students engineered the robots and earned technology certification badges that will look great on their academic resume.
The students worked in small teams, and presented their robots to attendees during the Back-to-School Bash. Students later were presented with certificates, book bags, and gift cards for school supplies. The STEM Summer Camp and Back to School Bash was partially funded by a $136,000 grant from The Children’s Trust.
Town staff members said they were grateful to the event sponsors for making it a great success. Sponsors for the Bash included The Children’s Trust, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, Staples Cutler Bay, MD Now Urgent Care and Amscot Financial.
Mayor Peggy Bell, Councilmember Roger Coriat, Councilmember Michael Callahan, State Rep. Kionne McGhee, State Rep. Daisy Baez, and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava attended the event to show their support for students in the STEM camp program and for all the students going back to school.
Mayor Bell said she was pleased with the way the program turned out.
“When I visited the camp a few weeks ago, I was speaking with a few of the students and a little robot came up and tapped me on the leg,” Mayor Bell said. “I have been so impressed by the wonderful students at our new Careers in STEM Summer Camp.
“Our Town staff has done a fantastic job of coordinating with The Children’s Trust in developing a stimulating and unique way for children to learn during the summer break. I look forward to the possibility of hosting the Careers in STEM Summer Camp again next year.”
The students who participated also seemed to enjoy the events. Ayanna Moreau, grade 8, spoke of her experience in the STEM Camp and Robotics Exhibition.
“This was the best summer ever,” Moreau said. “During the STEM Summer Camp we learned how to program robots, went on exciting field trips, and tried fun science experiments. We made new friends and learned how to work in groups for today’s presentation.”
For information about upcoming events and programs visit the town’s website at www.cutlerbay-fl.gov or contact Kimberly Thomas at 786-573-5577.