kindling the imagination of our future
Every summer, The Robostangs host Robocamp to foster a passion STEM in interested students in Northville and surrounding areas. Guided by experienced team members, young students are able to learn techniques and information that can be used to sharpen their skills in robotics. From the 100 campers attending, many students are inspired to join our FIRST pipeline programs and are able to continue growing their STEM skills.
After tirelessly working to have all the preparations completed in time, the Robostangs were more than ready to host their annual Robocamp during the first week of August at Northville High School. The camp was a great success and attendance was over 65 students from grades 3-8, eager to learn how to build and program crucial components to being a part of a FIRST team. This eagerness translated into the students’ robots, allowing them all to to build and program a lego EV3 robot with the guidance of their teammates and Robostangs mentors. The objective of these robots was to complete various challenges on the game board related to the theme of Robocamp this year, “H2O, ready, set, go!”. This year, our game master, Tejas Kakunje, developed a progressive game board fit for both the beginner and advanced students. He ensured that the game was hard enough so the building and programming would be a challenge and could push students to put their best foot forward, but easy enough so that students could complete the task if they put their mind to it. Some teams even got as creative to make a self correcting EV3 robot almost like how a car uses traction control.
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arts and crafts
Not only did the young students maximize their opportunity to learn about programming and building, but they also got a chance to explore their creative sides by making amazing projects. Still sticking with the theme “H2O, ready, set, go!”, all of the activities were water related as well. We made lava lamps to teach students about the different densities of oil and water and showed off different chemical reactions that can happen with water. We also made snow globes to demonstrate the low viscosity of water, and the kids had a great time making a lego scenery inside the snow globes. Lastly, pool noodle foam boats were made to show how sailors are able to navigate their journeys by paying attention to the wind and waves. The kids were also able to race these boats during fun tournaments and see who really knew how to navigate through open waters.
At the end of each camp the teams got to showcase all their hard work from the previous days by participating in a friendly competition between each of the teams. The friends and families of the students attended and were in awe as to how much the kids had learned in only a few days. In fact, the Robostangs were proud to learn that the only all girls team won the competition, proving that gender does not affect skill and ability when it comes to passion and interest. All of the students were excited of what they had accomplished and learned a lot about the core values instilled in FIRST. They learned Coopertition by working with the teams they were up against in a kind manner, and they learned about Gracious Professionalism by treating their competitors respectfully. All Robostang student mentors and the camp coordinators Esha Garg, Keya Patel, and Melissa Corrigan, were happy to help these students and watch them learn.This camp was an engaging and fun experience for both the Robostangs and the students and left the kids with the necessary skills and passion to go into and continue their paths in STEM for years to come.