Celebrating STEM

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Student robotics Team 343 poses with members of Duke Energy and iMAGINE Upstate to celebrate the recent partnership between Duke Energy and iMAGINE Upstate.

“Hookshot” wheeled itself across the floor of the Oconee Nuclear Station’s World of Energy education center, picked up a large red ball and launched it at one of its designers. The robot wasn’t being rude. That’s what he was programmed to do – throw things.

Hookshot is an advanced robot built of complex systems and many functions. He’s the center of attention at all kinds of community events – in fact, you could say he’s kind of a show off.

Would you believe that Hookshot was built by kids under the age of 18?

Those kids belong to Metal in Motion FRC Team 343, a robotics team for high schoolers in Oconee County, S.C. The team was established in 1999 as a collaborative project involving local industries and the School District of Oconee County.

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Hookshot, a robot, launches a ball at one of its designers

Team 343 showcased Hookshot to kick off the partnership between Duke Energy and iMAGINE Upstate, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) festival March 28-April 4 in downtown Greenville, S.C.

The festival is a celebration of all things STEM, including the young minds behind the engineering and design of such complex robots like Hookshot. Not only will it highlight young talent, but it will also showcase the innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial activity of local businesses and organizations in hopes to spark interest among the future workforce.

Through its partnership with iMAGINE Upstate, Duke Energy’s World of Energy at Oconee Nuclear Station in Seneca will host “Energize Your Mind” during the week of March 28-April 2.

“We see how important STEM is in our own company, and we want to foster that creative, innovative spirit by offering fun, interesting STEM programs at the World of Energy,” World of Energy Communications Manager BJ Gatten said.

For more information about “Energize Your Mind,” visit www.duke-energy.com/worldofenergy; to learn more about iMAGINE Upstate, click here.