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PBS Reno STEM Works | Sierra Nevada Corporation

PBS Reno STEM WorksSierra Nevada Corporation | SNC

In this digital short of PBS Reno STEM Works, we visit our friends at the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and talk with Engineering Intern Alyssa Chavalithumrong, System Engineer Andy Smith and Software Engineer Teri Heglar to find out how they build, test and use robots.


STEM — STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. It represents an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to gathering hands-on experience and applying “real-world” knowledge. People who work in STEM fields use knowledge in science, engineering, technology, or math to understand the world around us and to solve problems.

CAD modeling — CAD stands for Computer Aided Design. CAD modeling is the process of using a computer to virtually create and modify a product before its physically made. This lets engineers be much more efficient and avoid using costly resources to make or test a product before it’s ready to be physically created.

Lidar — Lidar helps us make very detailed, high-resolution maps by using lasers and light sensors to determine the specific location of things. They’re often used to create 3D models!

Mars Perseverance Rover — The Mars Perseverance Rover is a part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, which aims to better understand our planetary neighbor Mars. The Perseverance Rover is a robot device that was sent to Mars to look for signs of ancient life on Mars and to collect samples of rocks to bring back to Earth.

Navigation — Navigation is how ships or aircraft find their way from one place to another. There are many different types of techniques used to help people navigate, or find their way. These techniques include radar and lidar.

Prototype — A prototype is an original or early sample or model of something used to test a concept or a process. It serves as a typical example or standard for the same things in the future.

Radar — Radar is a device that uses radio waves to find objects. It sends the radio waves and waits for them to ping off an object and bounce back to the source. The device can determine where that object is based on what waves come back and how long it takes the waves to return.

Raspberry pi — A raspberry pi is a tiny computer the size of a credit card that lets you explore how a computer physically works and start learning to code!

Robot — A robot is a machine that is controlled by either a computer program or a system of electronic circuitry. They can come in many forms and are often designed to perform a specific job.

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