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Ideas at Play

By From the Lowell Sun

LOWELL -- Alyssa Santos' colorful electric parrot, decked out with ping-pong ball eyes and a tail made of pipe cleaners, stood motionless on the workbench in the UMass Lowell electronics lab.

Then the 12-year-old Tyngsboro resident stuck a tiny magnet inside the bird's beak, touching a slender reed strip to make electricity. As the bird's feathery wings flapped, Santos smiled proudly.

It was day four in the Electric Jungle, one of several workshops in Design Camp 2010, offered by UML's Future Engineers Center.

Nearly two dozen other middle-schoolers were as busy as Santos, bending over their electric pets, soldering wires, testing charges and generally having the time of their lives.

Read the entire story about Design Camp.