Robotics camp exposes engineering fun to middle school students
Apr 28, 2009 12:06 PM | Print

Is engineering boring, or can it be hands-on fun? Can kids design, build and program a robot to complete a task and learn valuable concepts and skills while doing it? Do middle school students even think about engineering?

The answer to these questions and more is yes. Getting students to think about designing and building robots and then running their robots in a competition makes students aware of how engineering can be fun.

This summer, Whitman will offer a beginner and advanced LEGO Robotics camp.

The College of Engineering will host seven different camps.

Last year's Shocker MINDSTORMS Camp was held July 21-25, 2008, for students in grades 6-8. The camp was hosted by Wichita State's College of Engineering.

"To increase the number of high school students choosing engineering as a major, maintaining interest in science and technology is key," said Lawrence Whitman, director of engineering education for the College of Engineering and director of the camp.

The camp included designing and building robots to travel in a square; making robots that followed a line; and using gears to make the fastest robot.

WSU annually hosts a LEGO MINDSTORMS Robotics Challenge, and campers had the opportunity to compete on the same courses used at the Challenge.

Campers heard from a former WSU student who implements industrial robots at Spirit Aerosystems. Campers also went to a local factory to see robotic welders and automated guided vehicles.

Participants each received a name badge made from LEGO bricks and extra bricks were provided for the 'camper o' the day' and the 'happy camper' award. These bricks were much sought after as students maintained good attitudes and documented their designs in their engineering notebooks.

Campers learned the engineering design process, learned how to use gears and sensors and how to program their robots to operate autonomously.

They learned that the word 'autonomous' means a self-directed robot with the ability to respond to the environment. An autonomous robot is different than a robot that is directed using a remote control.

To register or get more information about the summer camps, go to

WSU makes case for special funding priorities
Revisions made to parking plan
High School Guest Program offering $500 scholarships
Collaboration to benefit WSU students
WSU camps introduce youth to engineering
Multi-disciplinary field study
WSU Foundation finishes strong year
WSU director to speak on racial profiling
WSU research uses all types of people
Shuttle system adds new stops
Permits to be required to park on main campus
WSU names new director of AEGD program
WSU reorganizes admin structure
WSU, WuShock logo at IndyCar Series
WSU hosting ACT Prep Workshop
New Health Professions dean honored
Wichita State welcomes FarmHouse fraternity to campus
WSU grad overcame tragedy to earn her degree
Flint Hills Media Project covers Butler County
WSU to host forums for returning adults
'Forty Years/Forty Stories' at WSU museum
© 1995-2014 Wichita State University. All rights reserved.
Valid HTML 401