SCORE’s VEX GO and VEX IQ Competition Camps engage elementary students in STEM and robotics education, foster critical thinking and teamwork skills
Rising second through fourth grade students spent an enriching week at two of Auburn University’s Southeastern Center of Robotics Education, or SCORE, robotics camps, learning varied levels of robotics—from identifying basic parts to analyzing design for competition success.
Held June 13-17 at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum, VEX GO camp was held for rising second and third graders, and VEX IQ Competition Camp was held for rising fourth and fifth graders. Each camp provided students an opportunity to explore science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fundamentals based on the appropriate grade level.
At VEX GO, campers learned about simple machines and parts such as pins, connectors, standoffs and gears through use of the VEX GO robotics construction kit. The camp was centered around astronaut themed activities, allowing them to explore engineering concepts in a fun way. Throughout the week, campers used robotics parts to build a spaceship and exploratory vehicle for ‘Astronaut Joe’ to travel to and explore space.
“This week, I have enjoyed learning about engineers and building like engineers,” said VEX GO camper Mason Hunter, who partnered up with camper Ethan Hogge to discuss ways to improve the design of their spaceship.
Campers learned about the test and improvement process by sketching out their designs and working in teams to brainstorm ways of making their spaceships and vehicles move more efficiently.
At VEX IQ Competition Camp, campers with previous robotics knowledge worked collaboratively to design, build and program an original robot to compete in a new game and challenge fellow campers.
The goal of this camp was to prepare students for the annual VEX IQ Robotics Competition, an exciting, open-ended engineering challenge presented in the form of a game where students all over the world get to compete against one another using a robot of their own design.
Campers reviewed the competition handbook and became familiar with rules, scoring and vocabulary. They learned about the engineering design process, sketching, goal setting and engineering notebooks.
“At camp, I really enjoyed writing down goals in our notebook each day,” remarked first-time camper Allie Knight.
Throughout the week, campers sat together around a robotics game field to problem solve and brainstorm ways of improving game strategy. Through collaborative observation, analysis and critical thinking, students gained a jump start on the robotics competition season and are ready to take their knowledge back to their coach and school in August.SCORE is an Auburn University outreach initiative in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, or COSAM, designed to help effectively develop and deliver robotics education to K-12 students and teachers. SCORE summer camps allow participants to explore STEM through multiple robotics platforms in a unique environment on Auburn University’s campus. For more information on SCORE summer camps, please contact Jennifer Spencer, SCORE assistant director, at email@example.com.
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