Campers learn about original text message

From left, two campers, Ron Grew and Ross Reynolds during the camp activity.
From left, two campers, Ron Grew and Ross Reynolds during the camp activity.
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Area middle school girls learned about Morse Code — one of the first forms of text messaging — at the Science Technology and Engineering Preview Summer Camp in June.

The camp, sponsored by the School of Engineering in the Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, educates girls from all over West Michigan about careers in engineering.

Students and staff members taught campers about the history of Morse Code, stemming from the 1800s, and Samual Morse and the telegraph. They learned how to send and receive code, including numbers and words.

“I’ve heard from some campers that it’s more fun than texting today,” said Ron Grew, engineering lab supervisor. “They really got into it. They liked to try to guess the word ahead of time and were excited when they were correct.”

The activity was organized by Grew, Ross Reynolds, professor of physics, and students Andrew Johnson and Ryan Alridge.

During the two four-day camps, girls participated in a variety of activities, and constructed radio-controlled airplanes that they flew at the end of the camp. This was the 11th year Grand Valley hosted the camp.

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