Computer science student challenges himself with robotics and engineering during remote learning

When remote learning became a reality for students and teachers in the middle of March, it changed the delivery of instruction. Many classes that were structured around hands-on learning opportunities, were faced with the challenge of how to continue that environment remotely. 

Like many Schuylerville teachers, high school technology teacher, Fred Lefton, has been utilizing Google Meets and Google Classroom to support his students for the past few months. But despite the new format for learning, Lefton’s students continued to challenge themselves with robotics and engineering activities, one of the students being junior Cameron Wian.

Last year, Wian visited an electronics store in New York City where he became intrigued with the mechanics of a key card sensor. Fast forward several months later, he decided to create a key card lock for his bedroom door. The lock was designed and produced entirely by Wian.

“I’ve known that I want to go into an engineering field for a while and this was a very relevant project in regard to that,” he said. “I finally found time to do it due to these unusual circumstances.”

In a video Wian created, he demonstrates the steps he took to create the key card sensor. Using a 3-D printer, Wian created the parts and assembled them, and wrote the code. For electronics, he used an Adafruit Pro Trinket, a Servo motor, LED lights, a buzzer and a sensor. The key card sensor blinks red and remains locked if the wrong key card is used, and the door handle also opens from the inside with a button Wian installed.

“Cameron has many interests outside of Introduction to Computer Science,” said Lefton. “He is a tinkerer by nature and continues to use all he has learned over the years to design, create, and innovate through the use of technology. Every year a handful of my students never cease to amaze me. They do something so unique or special I feel they should be recognized or celebrated in some way.”

Wian is considering studying robotics, mechatronics or computer science in college. 

Click here to view the video he created.