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Summer robotics camp keeps students learning

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By Taylor Riley

 

School may be out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean some students aren’t still learning important lessons.

Oldham County Schools held a FIRST Lego League Robotics Camp last week, joining together fourth and fifth graders preparing for their first season in the league and members of the high school-age division, Engineers of Tomorrow.

FIRST is an international program for teams, composed of up to ten children and at least one coach, competing to build a functioning robot out of Legos. Starting this year, every elementary school in Oldham County will have a competitive team.

Oldham County’s Engineers of Tomorrow High School Robotics team helped give the FIRST kids a head start with a five day camp teaching them computer programming, mechanical engineering, presentation practicing, and developing team building skills.

All the kids at the camp entered at the same ability level and learned to advance with the help of the high school kids, according to Janet Fraser, GATES elementary resource teacher.

“They love to come and teach the program to help get them to the next level…but we want the kids to do the work,” Fraser said.

The “student-led/student-taught” program prepares the incoming fourth and fifth graders for the problem-solving competitions hosted in December, but also for the EOT program when they reach high school.

“This is the start,” Char Kirby, EOT volunteer, said. “(The camp) is a snapshot feel of the whole season.”

The kids started the camp with Lego pieces and by trial and error they built a robot, said Fraser.

“We get to do a lot of things to work together,” Graham Gerard, fourth grader, said. “That’s what really made the team successful.”

Both FIRST and EOT programs are funded by the Oldham County Educational Fund and is part of the STEM Education Coalition. STEM is a national initiative to preserve and improve the use of technology, engineering, and mathematics in education.

For more information on how to get a child started in FIRST or to volunteer to be a sponsor for a team, contact 502-241-3500.

Email us about this story at taylorriley@oldhamera.com.