Middle School STEAM at Yale

Explore all elements of STEAM in order to power a self-driving robot

Summer Springboard Middle School program located on the campus of Yale University

Program Highlights

Build and program a self-driving car that can drive backward, accelerate, follow lines, and avoid obstacles.
Use computer-assisted design (CAD) software to design both functional and fashionable parts of the car.
Experience hands-on learning at Yale University and the Connecticut Science Center
Tour Boston in an amphibious vehicle visiting the most famous historical sites by land and sea.

Residential Price: $4,998 USD (+ supplemental fees)

Extended Commuter Price: Not Available

Commuter Price: $2,798 USD (+ supplemental fees)


Early July: July 4-July 16, 2021

Late July: July 18-July 30, 2021


Yale University
New Haven, CT

Course Overview

This program incorporates all elements of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) in a comprehensive way for middle school students.

During this program students will work in teams to build an autonomous race car with the abilities to self-drive forward, backward, accelerate, track and follow lines, and avoid obstacles. The SparkFun RedBot is a perfect way to gain hands-on experience and get started in the world of robotics. At the end of the program, students will race their cars against other teams. Prizes will be given for the fastest car, most creative design, and sturdiest! Additionally, students will create videos documenting their creation of their car which they will screen at the end of the program.

Excursions at Yale include: Connecticut Science Center, Apple New Haven, Cushing Center, Boston Ducks Tour, Six Flags New England, and Make Haven.

The Middle School programs operate separately from Summer Springboard high school programs with separate staff, accommodations, schedules, classes, activities, and a more structured environment. 

Meet your instructor


Paula Matei-Grysiak, MS

Paula Matei-Grysiak is a skilled and enthusiastic teacher with extensive experience teaching Physics and Mathematics. She completed her graduate studies in Physics at Wesleyan University where she also served as a Physics instructor and won the prestigious AAPT Outstanding Teaching Assistant award. Since then, she has shifted her focus to teaching high school and middle school students. In 2015 she won the ETS Recognition of Excellence for Physics. Currently, she teaches at the Engineering and Science University Magnet Schools in New Haven, Connecticut. The instructor will be supported by a Teaching Assistant.

Topics you'll explore

Hands-On Learning

Students will learn a simplified C++ programming language in order to program an Arduino controller, which will power a RedBot vehicle chassis. Students will also use art to design the exterior of their car, and will utilize math, physics, and engineering concepts to calculate the car's average speed and energy, understand simple electrical circuits, and program the car to follow a line.

Middle School STEAM

Career Exploration

Students will visit the Connecticut Science Center. With more than 165 hands-on exhibits, a state-of-the-art 3D digital theater, four educational labs, plus daily programs and events, the Connecticut Science Center offers endless exploration for middle school students. From physics to forensics, geology to astronomy, visitors have the sciences at their fingertips. The Science Center is Connecticut’s premier destination for informal science learning, and is well on its way to becoming the state’s foremost Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) resource.

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Summer Springboard Pre-College Summer Program