For more than a decade, the OSU Institute of Technology Advanced Training Center at MidAmerica Industrial Park has offered children a chance to explore math, science, engineering and technology through its LEGO Robotics Camp.
This year’s camp for nine to 12 year olds is June 17 through 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the OSUIT-MAIP location, 4059 Redden St., in Pryor.
The cost of the camp is $150, lunches included. To reserve one of the 20 spots available, call 918-825-4678.
Director and camp organizer Scott Fry said the camp, now in it’s 12th year, is designed to present STEM— science, technology, engineering and math— through fun, hands-on activities.
“We hope to encourage kids to further explore these areas and give them a behind-the-scenes knowledge of the technology they interact with on a daily basis,” Fry said. “We hope that their experience in the camp will show them the application of math, and that it isn’t so difficult or scary.”
Over the three days, the participants will utilize LEGO Mindstorm learning kits to build and program a robot to perform a variety of problem solving activities. The students learn about mechanical and electronic systems and how to program their robot with an array of sensors.
The students are always engaged in the process of building and programming their robots, and they love the challenges and competitions the camp offers, Fry said.
“Everyone loves LEGOs: boys, girls, old and young. It is rewarding when you can take an inanimate object and animate it to respond to its environment to solve problems,” he said. “It is a different way to learn than they are used to, and it’s refreshing to get to use your hands in the learning process.”
The ultimate goal is to spark an interest in some of the children to pursue areas of science, math, engineering or technology, as they get older.
“We have had several young people over the years who went through one of our LEGO programs come back to us to pursue a technical education after high school,” he said.
In fact, one of those students who attended the LEGO camp 10 years ago is now pursuing an Associate in Applied Science from OSUIT, and this summer has an internship at Google, Fry said.
The key is getting children interested in science and math while they are in grade school.
“Introducing them to STEM at a young age allows them to continue to develop their interest and seek out opportunities to build upon what they learn,” he said. “They will also leave camp with a better understanding of the role that science, math, engineering and technology play in our everyday world and how it applies to their studies at school and eventually the workplace.”
For more information or to make a reservation, call 918-825-4678 or email Mallory Ball at firstname.lastname@example.org.