North Island College Takes Robotics Camps on the Road

NICBotCamps allowed students, aged 9 to 12, to build, program and remotely control Lego robots at summer camps in Port Alberni, the Comox Valley, Ucluelet, Port Hardy and Campbell River. Students learned vital science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, required for many careers.

“It’s harder for students to have access to those skills especially in smaller communities,” said Naomi Tabata, manager of the Centre for Applied Research, Technology, and Innovation at North Island College. “So we decided to take the camp on tour across the North Island.”

Tabata said the camps are important because technology is becoming more a part of our everyday lives. “There will be lots of opportunities for us to interact with tech but also the opportunity to grab that tech and make it a part of our career paths.”

On the first day of the camp, the kids build a robot using a predefined kit which they assemble, but as the week goes on, the kids do custom and creative builds using their imagination.

“A piece that compliments that is the programming,” said Tabata, explaining “the instructors provide a series of challenges for the robots to complete and the students have to get creative about finding the right build and the right program for the robots to perform the challenges.”

The camp is led by brothers Andrew and Mitchell Gair, two university students who are robotics fanatics and have competed in international competitions.

Tabata noted that after the camps “students come out with an exposure to a skill they might not have seen before, and come out meeting new friends and discovering a part of themselves that they might not have known existed.”

For more information and to register, please click here.

In the photo above, Mackinley Whalen holds up one of the Lego Robots she created in NIC’s Robotics Camps last summer.