Robot Camp!

Last weekend several Splatspace members, friends-of-members, and one child-0f-member volunteered as mentors at Efland-Cheeks Elementary School’s Robot Camp. Efland-Cheeks Elementary School, a Title I school in rural Orange County, was awarded a 2010 Toyota Tapestry grant to integrate robotics into the 5th grade science and literacy curricula.

Robot Camp is one component of the robotics program at Efland-Cheeks. During one of the free, day-long Robot Camp events, 5th-grade students design, build, program, and de-bug Lego Mindstorms robots and then pit them against each other in competition. It is a chance for them to use and apply the “force and motion” portion of their science curriculum, as well as get excited about science and technology.

As Robot Camp is free, it is entirely dependent on volunteer support. Volunteers act as mentors to guide the teams from start to finish. It’s a hugely rewarding experience for students and mentors alike, and we’ve heard that it’s the biggest topic of conversation at the school for days afterward. Students eagerly sign up for the camps, willingly spending their Saturdays at school. Here are just a few pics.


There was planning-


There was building-


There was programming-


There was testing and debugging-


And finally there were ROBOT FIGHTS!




Mass robot carnage aside, it was a great time for everyone. Splatspace is going to be a regular presence at these events, and we hope to see some of these kids take this inspiration and run with it as they grow up.