High school students on the Tribe Tech robotics team work to mentor younger students during the day camp.

Danville High School’s Tribe Tech Robotics Team hosts robotics day camp

Members of the award winning Danville Community High School Tribe Tech Robotics Team recently volunteered their time to mentor younger students at the Robotics Summer Day Camp.

Hosted at the high school during two sessions, 24 campers participated. The day was broken up with third through fifth graders in the morning and sixth through eighth graders in the afternoon.

Parent volunteer Jason Wood works with Noah Origer, a student at Danville Community Middle School, to solve a problem with his robot.

Jason Wood, a parent volunteer that led the camp, said that is was a great way to raise funds for the robotics team and get younger students interested in robotics.

“The kids love this camp,” Wood said. “It teaches the kids how to work with other people, and how to convey their ideas. They may not know the big technical terms, so we break it down for them.”

The camp begins by providing students with a box of parts and a game to complete with their robots. Students then figure out the object of the game, and use their creativity and problem solving skills, to build a robot that can perform those tasks.

“We try to let the kids go off on their own way, even though as an engineer I know that it’s not going to work very well,” Wood explained. “Then they can figure out what works, what doesn’t. Sometimes they have to scrap a whole idea, just like in real life.”

Wood said the high school student volunteers were an asset to the camp, as volunteers are hard to find, but getting back to basics is beneficial for them, too.

High school students on the Tribe Tech robotics team work to mentor younger students during the day camp.

Michael Collins, an incoming senior, has been on the high school robotics team since his freshman year and has helped at the camp every summer.

“It’s an opportunity to do outreach, as well as raise money for the team,” Collins said. “It also gets children interested in robotics so that they can join our team in the future.”

Working with the younger students can be frustrating at times, Collins added, but he enjoys seeing them work through problems on their own.

Jaden Roberts, an incoming seventh grader at Danville Community Middle School, participated in the summer camp for the first time this year. He said he was a member of the robotics club, but the camp gave him different opportunities to grow and learn.

“Here, you get to build your own robot,” he said. “It’s been a pretty big challenge, but it’s been fun.”

Participating in the robotics club and in the camp has encouraged Roberts to continue with robotics throughout his high school years, he said.

Having the high school students as mentors has been a great help for Roberts, too.

“Mr. Wood isn’t always available to help us, but they know things, too,” he said of the older students. “Since they also do robotics club, it helps to have someone else that knows you.”

Duel Mood, a student at Danville Community Middle School, works on his team’s robot during Tribe Tech’s Robotics Summer Day Camp.

Wood said that Tribe Tech is always looking for more adult volunteers, as well as students and adults that are interested in more than just robotics. He said it takes a variety of skills to make the team successful, and the team needs individuals that can help promote the team on social media, take photos, work on a budgets and more.

“We’re trying to figure out how we can get some more mentors to come in and help out,” Wood added. “Any kind of help we can get, because we don’t need all engineers to be volunteers. Anyone that wants to sit down with the kids and help them envision something, help them stay focused.”

For more information on volunteering with Tribe Tech, contact Dr. P.J. Hamann at phamann@danville.k12.in.us.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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