Okanagan summer camp teaches kids how to program robots

EdgeMakers STEM camp showcased their robot presentations Friday

Kids are getting a taste of technology at local summer camps this year.

Two week-long summer camps taught students how to code a robot to carry out human-like functions while another camp educated them about underwater ecosystems.

Students ages five to 15 who participated in EdgeMakers STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) camp presented their robot programming skills on Friday.

“The showcase is my favourite part of teaching summer camps as it brings me so much joy watching future engineers, programmers, and coders beaming with pride as they display their hard work to the rest of the class and their parents,” said Tyson Weir, managing director of STEM Learning Lab B.C.

READ MORE: Kids try engineering at UBCO summer camps

“We got to learn voice recognition, speech recognition and we coded them to learn movements and dances,” said camp participant Edward Suliman.

“We could also program the robot’s eyes to turn specific colours and shapes, it’s called block coding,” said STEM participant George Suliman.

Students used the computers to program the movement of the robot which taught them about counterbalancing. Because the robots are top-heavy, the coding would have to be correct or the robot could have a crash landing.

“We found it really difficult to figure out how to work the (robot’s) arm,” said camp participant Jayme MacLean.

One student who plans to be an engineer said that he was blown away by the camp.

“I think it’s amazing how far technology has come from when it first started, at the beginning of the camp we watch prosthetic limbs and how they started off and now when you have one, you can feel what that prosthetic arm is feeling,” said Brady MacLean.

READ MORE: STEM summer camps focus on math, science learning

EdgeMakers 2019 STEM camps teamed with UBC Okanagan, iSTAND and NSERC in Kelowna to be able to have a place to host students.

Other types of camps EdgeMakers runs are engineering, LEGO Mindstorms, wearable technology, drones and 3D modelling.

For more information on STEM and future camps check out the ‘Stem Learning Lab.’

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