Elementary school students made various robots at Lego Bot Builder camp at the Boys & Girls Club of the Umpqua Valley this week.
One robot was able to ask for donuts whenever someone would walk by. Another was able to roll across the gym floor and stop on command.
The young builders used touch-screen tablets to get instructions and learn how to get their robots to perform specific commands.
“You just have to build it from the picture,” 9-year-old Darien Farley said.
In all, there were six robot-building kits and 57 children signed up for the elementary school camp. Last week, there were 14 middle schoolers who participated in robotics camp, which followed a similar plan.
Middle schoolers received a daily challenge that included engineering and programming tasks. One was making a robot touch a wall, turn around and move back. Another was having a robot pick up items and transport them from one side to the other.
“It was really fun on the last day we had this callback to this old game show, I think it’s called BattleBots,” Education Director & Teen STEAM Summer Coordinator Marcus Vela said. “The kiddos got to build their own Lego sumo wrestlers and we had them fight in the circle of the basketball court and it was basically whoever pushed the other person’s robot out of the circle won. That was really fun, because that’s when we saw all the kiddos get involved and get really excited about the program.”
For the elementary school-aged children, the program is scaled down and they are using Lego We Do 2.0 software to create and program the robots.
“We want to build it, make it move and control it so that it can go forward and turn,” 8-year-old Kyleigh Fallin said, adding that she loved the science she learned through the camp.
Umpqua STEAM Hub provided robotics kits to the club, and volunteers from Roseburg High School’s robotics teams helped guide students.
A group that included Ella Galati, 9, Jaidanne Ellis, 10, Natalie Mathis, 8, and Adrianna Worley, 9, made several robots throughout the camp. The robots were named Bob, Bob Jr., and the latest one, Egg Salad.
“Bob Jr. moved his hands and made noise,” Natalie said. Adrianna elaborated that the sounds would be different depending on how fast the fan was moving.
While the technology was new to some, others had experience with robotics.
“My grandma works in South County and she does robotics with an after-school program,” Jaidanne said, adding that she’d been there a few times herself.