Summer Camp 2021 - FLL with Cargo Connect
by Kieran P.
This past summer we ran a one week long LEGO Robotics summer camp for kids aged 8-12 to fundraise for our upcoming season. We based our camp on the new season’s 2021-22 FIRST LEGO League game, Cargo Connect.
What happened at this fundraiser camp, you might ask? Essentially, we condensed an entire season’s worth of robotics competition into a week-long camp to give students a taste of what it’s like to compete in FLL. We divided the group into two teams. Each team got to experience all aspects of a FIRST season, including building and designing a robot, programming the robot, conducting a research project based on an inquiry question, preparing a presentation for a panel of judges, and of course practicing good sportsmanship through Gracious Professionalism.
And the kids did an amazing job!!!
BUILDING - Both teams designed unique but effective robots that could do a plethora of challenges. Each team took a very different approach to completing challenges on the FLL mat, which was fun for us to see. We held teaching sessions along the way to aid in their robot design process and programming.
PROGRAMING - One of the most useful skills the kids learned was how to use sensors effectively to make their robots more consistent. One group went so far as to use two sensors in one program (wow!). They used a colour sensor to follow a line, and a gyro sensor to keep track of their orientation. Overall, we are very proud of both teams for persevering through the challenges robotics throws at you and producing a phenomenal final product.
PROJECT - In addition to the robot game, teams are also required to do a research project based on an inquiry question. One team chose the question “How do we reduce emissions in motor sports?” and the other team chose to research “How do sports affect the brain?”. Over the course of the camp, they put together Power Point presentations filled with all the research that they did. Among the topics covered were renewable energy and healthy living practices.
CORE VALUES - The teams also learned how to work together and exercise Gracious Professionalism. The core values of FIRST are always the backbone of anything we do, and our camps are no different. We place a heavy emphasis on teamwork, being the best you can be and “Coopertition”, a term coined by FIRST to mean a combination of competing intensely while having a spirit of cooperation with your opponents. It’s always important to remember that the team you compete against can also be your best ally. We teach kids to help uplift each other.
Some of these concepts were new to the kids, especially our core values. But by the end of the week they were accustomed to it and could see the benefit. All in all, we had a very successful week of fundraising!
Info on Cargo Connect season here and intro video here.