• Learning didn’t stop just because school was out for the summer. From August 6-9, several Remsen Elementary students in grades 3-5 participated in a four-day Young Programmer Camp aimed at growing their passion for the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

    During the camp, students worked with Finch and Sphero robots to complete a variety of coding, programming, engineering and problem solving challenges.

    Students began working on the fundamentals of programming with the Finch robots. They learned how to write code to move their Finch, turn the nose a different color and make it sing a song. After learning the basics of coding the Finch, students were challenged to create a maze and program the Finch to navigate through as a test their coding accuracy. If the Finch was unable to navigate the maze, students used problem solving skills to figure out what went wrong and how to make it right. 

    Students also got to use Sphero robots to compete in engineering design challenges as well as some fun Olympic-themed games. For one of the challenges, students were tasked with designing a swimsuit for their Sphero that would provide added friction and allow it to move more quickly through water. A second team-style challenge required students to work in groups to design a dragon boat and race together across a pool of water. For the team challenge, students needed to develop a buoyant boat design and then work as a team to drive their robots in a synchronized pattern and successfully navigate the pool course.

    “This camp not only allows students to work on using coding to program robots, but it also reinforces the critical 21st Century Skills of collaboration, critical thinking, communication and creativity,” said Lisa Davis, instructional support services program specialist and camp coordinator.