Quantcast

Robotics & Beyond: Programs for Kids


August 2, 2012

A Visit To Robotics & Beyond Summer Camp

By: Allyson Kane, Publisher Mom, Macaroni Kid New Milford - Kent - Litchfield
top image
"Failure is part of life. Get used to it. Get over it. Have fun. Succeed!"

The above quote appears on a poster board hanging above a workbench of tools and wires that are used to create a tangible object from a child's dream.

This week I had the distinct pleasure of visiting the Robotics & Beyond summer camp, observing the activities, chatting with the campers and interviewing the founders of the program. To say that I was impressed with the level of participation, learning, and fun that was occurring in the room would be an understatement.

Robotics & Beyond is in its 9th season. The campers range in age from 9-18 with veteran campers who are badged as "mentors". The mixed age range in this environment is critical. The different ability levels help teach through modeling which keeps an open level of communication among the campers while they learn instead of a competition based model. The program is centered around S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathmatics). However, Robotics & Beyond is more than just a camp where you build robots. Robotics & Beyond is a place where creativity is fostered and lasting friendships are made.

Robotics is simply an entry point for this enviornment. The camp's main focus is bringing together science and technology. The children's expectations are not only about building a robot, but programming it. Robotics & Beyond brings together the disciplines of electronics, computer science, mechanics, graphic design, and mathematics to bring an idea to life.


I got a quick lesson in robots while I was observing and learned about the parts of a robot (sensors, motors, and a computer). On the first day of camp, campers are asked to create a robot that will navigate a maze taped onto a wooden structure. This task seemed incredibly overwhelming to me, but every single child was focused on writing their programming notes, finding the pieces they needed to build their robot, and test driving their creations. While chatting with one of the co-founders, Paul Chayka, I think my apprehension was sensed.

"It's about keeping it simple," Paul said. "We don't overwhelm. We break it down. Simple steps. A step-by-step approach to learning."

Thirteen-year-old Sammi has attended camp for the last three summers. She talked about how building was hard for her at first. "I'm a visual person", she said. "It helped me to see what it might look like before trying to make one myself." Sammi also talked about how inspiring the enviornment can be, how she admired her mentors and was thankful for the friends she made there.

I specifically wanted to know what the differences were between a camp like this and school. Sammi talked about how much more friendly the environment is at camp. She is given more time to truly understand tasks and is never afraid to ask for help or to ask questions regarding the project. Eleven-year-old Thomas agreed with her. "We have freedom to do what interests us most," he said.



Robotics & Beyond is not just a Summer Camp. There are after school programs and weekend events that occur year-round. However, if you're looking for a week full of creativity and inspiration, there's still room to register for a one-week camp session. For more information or to register for camp, visit www.roboticsandbeyond.com.



Have your say

More of this week's stories


Zucchini Lasagne

Zucchini Lasagne

I have had great weight-loss success this year on a low-carb diet. Just as I was about to write off Italian food forever, I found this no-noodle alternative to traditional lasagna that uses sliced zucchini instead. With most gardens overflowing ...

Read more »

August Fun

August Fun

Welcome to Macaroni Kid New Milford - Kent - Litchfield! Proudly serving towns in Litchfield County including New Milford, Sherman, Kent, Washington, New Preston, Kent, Warren, Bantam, Litchfield, Morris, Thomaston, Plymouth, Harwinton, New Hartford, Torrington, Goshen, Cornwall, and Sharon. New ...

Read more »

Make Your Own Olympic T-Shirt

Make Your Own Olympic T-Shirt

Your kids will have so much fun making these t-shirts and rooting for their favorite athletes! Materials: Plain colored T-ShirtFabric paintStar shape cookie cuttersPaper plates for paintIron-on lettersIron What to do: 1. Wash the T-shirt. 2. Cut out iron-on letters ...

Read more »

Daytime Adventures!

With summer weather in full swing, it's the perfect opportunity to get your kids outdoors and exploring the world around them!Uncle Milton and National Geographic have teamed up to bring families a full range of outdoor explorer toys for your ...

Read more »

Sharon Audubon Festival August 11th and 12th

Sharon Audubon Festival August 11th and 12th

The 45th annual Sharon Audubon Festival will be taking place at the Sharon Audubon Center, located on Route 4 in Sharon, CT on Saturday and Sunday, August 11th and 12th. The Audubon Festival is an event where people of all ...

Read more »

Macaroni Kid Summer Camp Guide

Macaroni Kid Summer Camp Guide

**Click here to view Macaroni Kid New Milford's 2012 Summer Camp Guide**Camp provides children with a community of caring adults, who nurture experiential education that results in self-respect and appreciation for human value. All of the outcomes - self-identity, self-worth, ...

Read more »

Annie Bananie Ice Cream and Kent Sidewalk Festival

Annie Bananie Ice Cream and Kent Sidewalk Festival

The Kent Sidewalk Festival is going on now through Sunday in the center of Kent. Kent merchants will be placing goods outside at a significant discount, but it's more than just a big sale. There will be great food, fun ...

Read more »