Campers learn to program robots | News

HUDSON — Continuing the tradition of offering “Extreme Super Summer” classes, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute (CCC&TI) Engineering Academy instructor Freda Parker led a group of elementary students in programming “Dot and Dash,” a robot designed to teach kids the basics of programming.

The “Little Robots” class is just one of two robotics classes offered for elementary students through CCC&TI’s “Extreme Super Summer” program.

Edward Terry, CCC&TI public information officer said that the robotics classes are popular summer camps.

“Little Robots” is a weeklong summer camp designed for children between the ages of 5 to 8.

During the camp, the children use “Dot and Dash” to learn the basics of programming, then advance to using “Lego Robots” with motors and controllers to design, build, and control a robot.

“It’s a good introduction to engineering, robotics, and computer programming,” said Terry, talking about providing a fun educational program that sets a foundation on which to build additional technology skills.

Parker said what she enjoys most about instructing the youngsters is watching their faces light up when they figure out how to program the robot.

The youngsters gathered in small groups around tables with a set of instructions and their individual “Dash and Dot” robot as they listened and followed Parker’s directions on how to program their robot. Autumn Collins, a junior at North Wilkes High School, provided additional guidance and support to the future engineers.

“I’m having fun,” said Ryder Byrd, as he used the tablet to make the robot’s cyclops eyes light up. “I can control its head.”

As some students were getting their robots to respond to basic commands, others were problem solving.


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Tate Ostwalt, 8, was working to establish a connection between his tablet and robot.

“If I can connect to it, it will allow me to steer it,” said Ostwalt.

The objective was to program the robot to perform a series of designated commands that were provided to the students on a card.

“We’re trying to program the robots to see if we can make it do what the card says,” said Teagan Greene, 7, as he troubleshooted the commands.

Grayson Philyaw, 7, and Jake Flowers, 8, along with Tyler Milligan, 7, sat at a table working together to configure their individual robot.

“You can control it with the tablet,” said Milligan, as it made his robot respond by lighting up.

CCC&TI will be offering a “Bigger Bots” class next week (July 18-22) from 8 a.m. — 12 p.m. for children ages 9 years old and up.

Registration is open for the “Bigger Bots” camp, until the the camp is full and individuals may register for openings until the first day of class.

“Little Bots” and “Bigger Bots” are just two of the “Extreme Super Summer” and “Kids in the Kitchen” classes offered through CCC&TI.

To find out more information about the classes, call 828-726-2242 (Caldwell campus) , or 828-297-3811 (Watagua campus).