Urban Life

 
 

            Students who dislike math or science should try robotics.


Just ask Hayden Nigro, 9, who said he would rather build his robot than eat a snack.


Hayden was participating in a Marquette University summer camp, Robotics For Kids.


During the three-day camp, a class of about 16 students working in teams learns to build and program their own robots, choosing which animal they would like to build out of LEGOs.


The animals range from crocodiles to birds.


“We choose what we want to do,” said Ryan Hamerook, 7. “After we finish building, we program it to make the LEGOs move.”


“It takes about 15 to 30 minutes [to build],” said Hayden as he helped his partner build a monkey.


After the robots are built, students apply the knowledge they have learned in class by programming them to move or make various sounds.


The kids enjoy putting all the pieces together even though they might not know the names of all the parts like wheels and wires and gears.


“The motor is the only one I remember,” said 7-year-old Matthew Byrne.


Trisha Nandakumar, 9, says her favorite part of the process is creating robots that make “funny noises.” Others seemed to agree. The classroom echoed with beeps, quacks, sirens, grunts and peeps.


One goal of the program is to transfer knowledge about robotics into future academic and professional careers.


The class teaches teamwork and the importance of following directions along with simple engineering skills such as programming and putting small parts together.


It also can lead to art.


For example the dean of the Diederich College of Communications, Lori Bergen, purchased four retro robots made of old communication devices to help decorate her office.


But artwork was not on the mind of Katie Stomm, 7.


“I just like building them.” | UV

 

Robots quack, kids cheer| Quianna Young

One goal of the program is to transfer knowledge about robotics into future academic and professional careers.

Engineering is made fun with the help of LEGO kits.

Video by Brianne Stubler and Madelynne Miller