2016 Spring Camp Eureka!

Day 1 [3/21/2016]:

Today was the first day of our 2016 Spring Camp Eureka!

This camp we had a staggering 24 students in our morning Lego NXT session and 18 students in our Afternoon Vex IQ Session. The students came in, did some introductions, and went straight to finding partners to form teams with.

Like the past two camps, we went with a relatively unrestricted model. The student groups were all given a number of challenges, and they must work with their mentors to learn the skills and concepts necessary to complete each challenge. This allows each group to figure out what challenges they want to work on, rather than being forced to work on a set challenge. Each group is also able to personalize their learning, as their mentor can teach the individual groups according to their learning style and pace.

In this camp, both sessions were given the same set of challenges. The challenges given to the students include our classic three challenges(The Maze, The Drag Race, and The Sumo bot) that introducing the students to the main concepts of control, speed, and torque. In this camp, we also have some non traditional challenges such as the Robotic Arm, Hang bot, Rough Terrain Obstacle Course, and Sensor Obstacle Course. In addition, we have some general challenges such as the spaghetti tower challenge to make the tallest tower that can hold a marshmallow out of spaghetti noodles and tape, learning basic programming at code.org, and completing a research paper on a real life robotic application.

Today the students worked on a variety of challenges, with lots of students concentrating on the maze challenge. Much of the first day was spent on robot construction, but we hope to see more challenges completed in the next few days.


Vex IQ:



Day 2 [3/22/2016]:

Today was the second day of our Spring Camp Eureka!

In our Morning LEGO NXT session, many groups moved on to programming controllers that they made out of touch sensors. Using this, they could move the robot according to the obstacles that are immediately ahead rather than on autonomous code that they must prepare before hand. Using this, many groups moved on to work on the maze challenge.

In the Vex IQ session, many groups completed their robots and tackled all sorts of challenges, the most popular being the Sumo bot challenge, where they must now defeat a robot constructed by a mentor. This would prove to be very difficult.


Day 3 [3/23/2016]:

Today was the third day of our Spring Camp Eureka!

In the LEGO NXT session, groups would start completing many challenges such as the maze and race, as well as challenging the mentor robot in the sumo ring.

In the Vex IQ session, groups would continue to challenge the Mentor robot on the Sumo ring. Meanwhile, other groups would complete other challenges such as the rough obstacle course, maze, and race challenges.

Aside from the robot challenges, groups would also gain points by completing other challenges such as doing programming lessons on code.org, and building a tower out of spaghetti noodle strands.


Day 4 [3/24/2016]:

Today was the fourth day of our Spring Camp Eureka!

Today many teams worked on finishing up all sorts of challenges in preparation for the display and competition day on Friday. In the NXT session, many groups were able to defeat the mentor robot and also set new records all around, in the drag race, maze, and straw tower.

In the Vex IQ session, we announced that we will be closing the Sumo bot, Maze, and Obstacle course competition in order to make room for our final game. Before closing these competitions, many teams tried them out one last time, setting new records all around.  The game involves a standard 4’ x 8’ Vex IQ field with a trapezoidal bump along the center and a bins on each side of the field. Balls are placed all around the field and robots must move them to the other side of the field, or inside the bin on the opposite side for double points.