Saturday, July 28, 2018

Summer Robotics Camp Introduces Teens to Manufacturing World

"Camp MoCoRobo introduces teens to manufacturing world"

"... Twenty children were gathered in a classroom at Ivy Tech Community College, working in teams to program and test the robots. The camp’s first session runs through Friday, followed by a second group of students next week.
Instructors Lisa Hoagland, who teaches math at Northridge Middle School, and Karen Thada, a retired Crawfordsville Middle School teacher, said the camp allows students to build problem-solving skills while learning about the training needed to fill manufacturing jobs.
Damian Crabtree, 13, and Max Edgecomb, 11, examine a robot Tuesday in Camp MoCoRobo at Ivy Tech Community College. The annual event teaches basic computer coding skills to middle school students and exposes them to advanced manufacturing career opportunities...

“So it’s kind of a lot of different tiers for us, but for the kids, it’s just a lot of fun and they enjoy playing with the robots,” Hoagland said.
Sevie and Layne, 12, who is in his second year at the camp, sat in front of a computer using coding software to give the instructions to the machine. Layne has designed web pages and worked with programming language that enables interactive websites.
I do play a lot of video games and I did those on the computer,” Layne said. He was also working on a Bluetooth feature that would allow their robot to be remotely activated.
Across the room, Damian Crabtree and Max Edgecomb were making another attempt to move their robot toward the sensor.
“The problem is, when it stops, it just runs in place,” said Damian, 13, who will be a seventh grader at Crawfordsville.
More girls are enrolled in this year’s first session, introducing them to a career field historically dominated by males. Currently, women fill just 7 percent of middle-skilled manufacturing jobs, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, which advocates for improving women’s access to middle-skill jobs.
Evelyn Zachary, 10, has coded her own snowball-fight game and signed up for the camp to further her skills with the software.
“I like building with Legos and doing coding and programming,” said Zachary, an incoming sixth grader at Southmont.
The campers will tour Closure Systems International and Walmart Optical Lab to see robotics in action on the manufacturing floor.
“This all started, really, because of a need for our kids that grow up in the county to work in the jobs that we have in the county,” Thada said…”

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