The June Harless Center offered two summer camps to children in the Huntington and Gilbert, West Virginia areas. These camps focused on using Arts & Bots to create new robots, as well as using Children's Innovation Project to create switches. Below is a recap of our awesome weeks in camp.
July 24-28th, 2017
Huntington Museum of Art
The Huntington Museum of Art Camp was a one week long program with 15 children enrolled. The first day of camp focused on the question, “What is a robot?” The children learned about the many different components of the robotics kits that can be used when creating their own robots. The second day of camp focused on developing a plan and design for their robots. The task for the development of the robot was that it had to be able to make a mark on a piece of paper. There were four actions the robot had to be able to complete. These tasks required the robot to move, make sound, make a mark, and light up. The children took their time and carefully drew out plans for creating the robot. Many children went over and looked at the recyclables to see what materials they could use and included the recyclables on their plan.
Once the children’s plans were approved, the children could begin exploring the visual programming software. The children were able to utilize many different settings with lights, sounds, and different motors. Some children found animal sounds for their robot while other children decided to have their robot tell a joke or a story. Many of the children were interested in the variety of light colors and one child decided to make a light show to put inside of her robot. After exploring the different components of the program the children began putting together expressions into sequences.
Through the end of the camp, the children focused on building their robots by searching through recyclable objects. One of the most difficult challenges of the project was to create a location for the hummingbird in the robot design. Once all the wires and components were in place, the children began to decorate their robots. The children used many different materials such as feathers, beads, jewels, and construction paper. Two children even decided to write stories about their robots.
On the last day of camp a showcase allowed families and friends to see what had been design and created. Many of the children were very excited to showcase their work. By the last day of camp every robot met the requirements of completing the four mandatory tasks. Many of the families were impressed by the children’s robots. One parent stated, “I wish I could have gone to a camp like this when I was younger.”
July 31-August 2, 2017
Larry Joe Harless Community Center in Gilbert, WV
Camp Create in Gilbert with a theme A Bot's Life, to encourage children research insects and build robots around that topic. During this camp, children work with real robotics components through Carnegie Mellon's CREATE Lab tools. It was also our first year piloting Children's Innovation Project in a summer camp setting. Children entering 1st-2nd grades attended the CIP portion of camp and children entering 3rd through 5th grades engaged in Arts & Bots. Children's Innovation Project embraces innovation as finding something new inside something known. This frame for innovation allows children to find small, authentic discoveries, and reflect on themselves in relation to the materials they explore. An approach that allows children to explore Circuit Blocks, electronic toys, other devices and components. During Camp CREATE, children worked their way through various progressions to result in an end product of creating their own switches. Using conductors and insulators, along with circuitry components, children created switches to showcase. Students who participated in Arts & Bots combined craft materials and robotic components to build and animate their own robotic creations using visual programming software. Students researched various bugs and arachnids to come up with their own insect, a hybrid, or an original insect. The students used LED lights for eyes, 360 motors to program the robot to move, vibration motors to create a buzzing sound, servo motors for making wings move. Several students also created environments for their robots. To end the week, we invited families and community members to a showcase!