It’s summer, but students can still explore and learn at a summer camp designed to build their interest in engineering, code — and robots.
Lego Robotics Camp, hosted by the STEM Education Mobile in Hutchinson, will give youths a chance to sharpen their problem solving skills and try out some pretty cool kits.
“We work with the WeDo 2.0 robotics kits and Ipad minis. We present them with a different module then they have to work with a partner to modify a robot to solve it, we also work on coding,” said Kim Perrone, leader of the camp. Sessions will be from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the Hutchinson Community College, 2208 E. Kansas Ave. in McPherson.
Perrone, a teacher at Wichita Public Schools, said she wanted to use her teaching skills during the summer months by offering these camps.
“I missed teaching so I got into the robotics thing because my son was really interested in it. They were always in Wichita, and I live in Hutchinson, so I thought, ‘Why don’t I start bringing them to smaller towns so these kids who don’t have the opportunity to drive to bigger cities to do robotics?’ It’s really started to take off and it keeps me busy all summer,” she said.
For the camp, Perrone wanted to adapt the kids to real-world problems and what’s going on in the environment.
“We connect everything we do in this camp to real life problems. That’s where jobs are going to be for these kids in the future. They’re going to be collaborating and solving all these problems and using confrontational skills,” she said.
An example of that is her bee robot module.
“I do a module on how important the bee population is and how that’s where most of our food comes from. Then they build a bee robot after the module. I actually read somewhere that there are robotic bees out there too,” she said.
Other modules campers will get to work on are an earthquake simulator module, a pull bot to test balanced and unbalanced forces and more.
“A lot of it is testing and modifying,” she said.
Even after three years of hosting the camp, she said it is different every year.
“I’ve had kids who’ve been at my camp for three years and they still love it because I bring them different motors and those kiddos can adapt even more depending on what they’ve learned. It’s good for kids who have done it for a while and those who haven’t,” she said.
Perrone said her favorite part of the camp is seeing how innovative the kids get with their projects.
“I really enjoy it, they surprise me with what they come up with. It’s very hands on and individualized,” she said.
The camp costs $110 and Perrone said her class has a limit of 20 students and parents should register by July 7.
For more information, got to Perrone’s website at stemeducationmobile.com or visit her Facebook page at Stem Education Mobile.
Contact Brooke Haas by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.