Ned Dawes for the Boston Globe
Ten Salem middle school students today on the steps of the Maclaurin building at MIT before contending in a robotics competition through a summer program collaborative between Salem Cyberspace, the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership, and MIT. The kids attended a free 5-week program funded through a NASA grant at Salem Cyberspace, 90 Lafayette St., where they learned how to write computer programs to control a robot used aboard the International Space Center. Ned Dawes, a science and technology teacher from Marblehead Middle School, served as the program instructor with assistance from Jaster Rincon of CyberSpace and Andrew Wimmer, a junior in aeronautics engineering at MIT. The group is testing the programs live at 2:30 today by computer upload directly to the International Space Station.