Some of New Albany's prospective young engineers spent last week taking apart toys, computer hard drives, fans and other machines to use during the the Robotics and Electronics Summer Impact Program at the 2-5 elementary building.

Some of New Albany's prospective young engineers spent last week taking apart toys, computer hard drives, fans and other machines to use during the the Robotics and Electronics Summer Impact Program at the 2-5 elementary building.

The class was held two hours a day in the elementary cafeteria from July 23-27.

"They brought in all types of electronic devices and took out the fans, motors, sound boxes and switches," said instructor Tim Bush.

Using those parts and some wood that Bush could cut and drill to size, the 16 students in grades five to seven used their imaginations to create new devices from the disassembled parts.

"They built helicopters, hovercrafts, cars, fans, even an airboat like you see in the Everglades," Bush said. "There were a lot of things I didn't expect them to come up with. They came up with them on their own."

Bush said he provided batteries, light bulbs, switches and other small parts to supplement what the students brought.

The students also had help from seven high school robotics class students.

"With the help of the high school students, they overcame a lot of problems," Bush said.

That is the whole point of engineering, he said.

"I think what is good for them is the fact that they can learn not everything is going to work perfectly the first time," he said. "A lot of engineering is failure."

This is the first year the robotics and electronics class has been offered as part of the New Albany-Plain Local School District's summer impact programs.

Bush said the idea came from his fourth-grade class, in which he coordinates a "toy take-apart day." The idea is similar, in that students bring in toys and tear them apart to use the parts in new ways.

However, the class time is not long enough for them to actually build another object, Bush said.

"Many of these kids had my class last year or the previous year," he said. "This class allows them to take the next steps."

The school district offered nine summer impact programs this year, in subjects ranging from art to science.

A fee is charged for each class. Bush's class cost $75.