Tag Archives: Bob Sierra YMCA

YMCA Camp – Family Day Fun & It’s a Wrap!

exhibit-crowdWe wrapped up our LEGO Robotics camp at the Bob Sierra YMCA with an exhibition event for campers’ families.  Campers’ LEGO

TDT members, enjoying the calm before the robot storm

TDT members, enjoying the calm before the robot storm

 art, rubberband cars, LEGO robots and more were on display. Families learned more about FIRST, while they watched campers’ robot runs, and campers got to try out our robot and some VEX robots we had on hand. 

It was a busy, crowded, noisy week of improvisational engineering and education, but in the end, we think everyone came away with some new knowledge and some memorable experiences. Some of the campers, who couldn’t quite get their minds around the collaboration aspect of building and programming, created a LEGO hockey game, complete with a workable set of rules, some great game elements and a way to include all of their impromptu team in the process.  Several parents asked how to go about creating FIRST teams or learning programs in local schools, and we were able to provide them with brochures and information about where they could learn more. 

thinking

Overall, we think we helped the YMCA pull off a really successful camp and hope they’ll continue to provide community-based STEM education for all ages. 

As for Team Duct Tape, we’ve got a couple of engineering firm visits scheduled over the next couple of weeks, and then it’s showtime, as the much anticipated 2010-11 FTC Season kicks off in September.  We can’t wait!exhibit-kicks-off

YMCA Day 2

It Works!
It Works!

It’s no easy task trying to teach thirty kids ages 6-11 robotics basics in the frenetic environment of a full blown YMCA summer camp, with other campers regularly tramping through classrooms from the swimming pool, indoor or outdoor sports programs or simply on their way from one area of the building to another. The Bob Sierra YMCA hosts a stunning array of activities and programs and all of them appear packed this week!

But no group goes by without oggling the LEGOs, and it’s common to hear some plaintive voices proclaiming in passing, “I wish I was in programming-togetherthat camp!” Such is the power of LEGOs! 
And such are the skills, perseverence, and good natured adaptability of Team Duct Tape members in managing and teaching their many and varied charges throughout the day, that a lot of our campers don’t want to leave when camp is over.
Today, campers got some sticky teamwork in with a marshmallows and spaghetti building challenge, learned about sensors , and worked more on understanding gear ratios.  And here’s a tip, courtesy of one of our clever programmers — when working with a rowdy crowd of grade schoolers, use a sound sensor and program the robot to stop when sound is detected, so it will only run when the room is quiet!  (Genius, Lee! )
many-hands
Tomorrow, center of gravity and lever attachments,  loops and if-then blocks and rubberband cars! lookit-my-bot-2

TDT @ the Y

build-classAll those competitions dancing to the Village People’s “YMCA”, and we’re finally there – well, at the Bob Sierra YMCA, at any rate.  No dancing, but lots of LEGOs, programming, building and teamwork games.   Logistics are a little challenging — hundreds of kids there, in all sorts of summer camp programs, and our classrooms are right by the basketball camp. But we’veyoung-programmers got an enthusiastic bunch, and TDT members are becoming highly adaptable pros!

More of the same tomorrow through Thursday, and then on Friday, we’ll host another little minitournament, and give Cubie another demo spin before the new season kicks off.