The St. Charles Parish Library held a series of robotics mini camps as part of its summer reading program.
Ready Set Robots!, funded in part through a Dow Promise Grant, consisted of two-week sessions in June, which kids worked in teams to build and program LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots.
Sixty-eight kids aged 8 – 17 attended the sessions.
Brian Young, a Destrehan High School teacher and Wildcats Robotics Team coach, led the camps. The Wildcat Robotics Team is ranked in the top 5 percent of the world’s FIRST Robotics League teams, and students on the team worked with the campers as mentors.
“It’s so important to give kids the chance at a young age to learn about robotics and electronics,” Young said. “People use technology in almost every aspect of their lives, and it’s hard to find technology that isn’t dependent in some way on robotics. There will be a lot of jobs waiting in these fields for those who have the skills.”
Educational concepts stressed during the camps included creativity, collaboration, logical thinking and problem solving.
“Learning robotics is a great way for kids with different personalities and learning styles to each play a role and have success working as a team,” said Teen Services Librarian Amy Duke. “The kids who stuck with it, even when things got a little challenging, ended up gaining the most from the experience.”
The camps served as a pilot program for future robotics programs and add to the STEM activities currently offered by the library.