Camp introduces young Hampton students to robotics
With the press of a button a robot whirs to life, chases a balloon across a table and then pops it.
A group of middle school students programmed the autonomous robot to complete this capture and destroy mission at the annual Robo Camp held at Hampton High School.
High school students involved in Botball, a competitive robotics program in which teams create robots to complete specific tasks in a certain amount of time, offered the camp to introduce students to robotics.
Proceeds from the camp help offset the costs of registering for competition.
This year, more than 100 students in kindergarten through eighth grade participated in the daylong Robo Camp last month.
“There's more than video games in the world,” Vince Kuzniewski, the Botball team's faculty adviser, said of the camp. “This is their future.”
Students were divided by grade and given assignments of varying complexity.
Kindergartners and first-graders built sumo bots, created to push an opposing robot out of a competition ring. Second- and third-graders built and programmed robots with a winch that pulled a weight attached to a string.
Fourth- and fifth-graders programmed and built a robot with ultrasonic, touch and light sensors to navigate a maze, and students in sixth through eighth grades programmed a robot that located and chased a balloon, then popped the target.
“I think it's phenomenal,” said Glenn Thomas, of Hampton, whose son, Jacob, participated in the camp. “There was nothing like this back in the day. It's really great they have this type of opportunity for the students.
“Engineering and computer science, that's the trend, that's the future.”
Nick Bland of Carnegie Robotics Inc., a Lawrenceville company that builds robotic products and sensors, showed students at the camp how the technology is used outside of the classroom. Bland demonstrated how the Multi Sense RCL machine uses a laser and camera to create panoramic 3D models of the environment.
For many students, the Robo Camp is their first opportunity to try programming, and sixth-grader Kieran Russell was impressed with what he and other students accomplished.
“We took all the stuff we learned and put it together,” Kieran said. “Basically, we wrote the code (to program the robot). I didn't know we'd be doing that, but it was fun.”
The high school students who organize and teach the camp sections want the introduction to robotics to show students another education option.
“We're hoping to pique their interest in it and know the inner workings of it,” said Ian Waldschmidt, a senior. “I liked math and science, but I didn't have a good way to combine the two (until Botball).
“This is combining what you see on TV with the reality of it.”
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Next session in North Hills history series ready to hit the road
- Cracked sidewalks pose danger for West View wheelchair users
- North Hills Interfaith Gathering scheduled
- Police eye speeding drivers along Route 19 corridor
- North Hills board approves bid for new track surface
- McCandless once again named Banner Community
- Penny Wars at Eden Hall benefit families in need