BlogCamp Eureka

2017 June Camp Eureka Blog!

This is a daily blog of our week long June Camp. The posts will be updated as the week continues. This blog serves as documentation for parents and supporters to enjoy, with brief summaries of each Camp day, and pictures of the students at work!

DAY 1 : June 5th

Morning Session

Today the students were introduced to each other and formed the groups they will be in for the rest of the week. They were taught the game that they will be playing and started construction of their robots. For the morning session the game is a twist on the classic game, Capture the Flag. This VEX IQ version will feature a 45 second period in the beginning to build fortifications with their robots to deter the enemy alliance from taking their flag, and a 1:15 minute time period to capture the opponent’s flag!. The kids quickly understood the game and enthusiastically began construction of their unique robots.

Afternoon Session

To start off our afternoon session, we introduced ourselves and the kids got into groups of two to three, which they will be in for the remainder of the week. We also introduced the game that they will be competing in at the end of the week — Hotshot. Hotshot is a modified game of basketball in which two teams work together to score the most amount of points they can in 1:30 minutes by shooting light weight golf balls into a net from various distances — getting more points the farther away from the hoop they are. Towards the end of the match they can gain additional points by latching onto a platform and raising themselves (a “slam dunk”!). Kids began their first day brainstorming ideas and eagerly beginning construction of their robots to best compete in the game.

DAY 2 : June 6th

Morning Session

Today the campers continued work on their robots for capture the flag. Many groups got to a point where their robots were complete enough to be tested, so we did rough practice matches. In these matches kids realized further improvements that could be made to their robots and began implementing them.

Afternoon Session

Today the kids regrouped and continued to work on their robots. They started making a lot of progress and many students were able to get their robots driving! Teams were able to get their scoring mechanism working and began to test it. Through the engineering process, kids tested and continued to improve their robots. Towards the end of the session, we held some practice matches where they worked towards fine tuning their robots.

DAY 3 : June 7th

Morning Session

Today we clarified the game rules for capture the flag, specifically scoring, and continued working on our robots. Other teams continued doing practice matches to further enhance their driving skills. Through practice and further clarification of rules some teams realized that the fortification period has lots of potential for getting a lot of points, so teams began to make changes to their design to adjust to that.

Afternoon Session

For this session, the students continued to build their robots, continuously testing and making improvements. A lot of students have started making the transition into the programming and improving phase. Students have been testing their robots and learning what they should add/improve to make their robot the best it can. Some groups have been realizing that their robot is front heavy and they work on making it so they can score from a far distance while being balanced. Organized practice matches are scheduled for tomorrow once the few remaining groups get their robot built and programmed. These matches will be a very good indicator for all the teams on how they compare to the rest of the competition for the main competition on Friday.

DAY 4 : June 8th

Morning Session

Today teams made final edits to their robots before the competition tomorrow. Teams refined and fine tuned already made flag scoring/fortification building systems or continued to improve their driving skills in practice matches. Many teams are ready for tomorrow’s competition and seemed nervous and excited to see who will win.

Afternoon Session

Today was the last full day of building before the competition. Some students are fine tuning their robots, however, most students are still working on getting their robot to work. Very few teams were ready for practice matches, so practice matches were cancelled. Most students had to re-evaluate their designs as they realized something wasn’t working or something had to be improved. They continued to work hard to make sure that they were prepared for the competition tomorrow.

DAY 5 : June 9th

Morning Session

On the final morning of camp, students were making the last finishing touches to their robots, some mainly practicing driver skill on the practice field, while others supported weaker parts of their robot.  Still yet, others made dramatic changes to their robot design in order to ensure success during the competition. As practice sessions continued, the teams couldn’t wait to start the actual matches. There were nine competing teams, named; Box Bot, Flash, Seizure Scorpion, Empire Camy, Emily, The Destroyer, Tanky, Charmander, and Bento Box III.  Tanky and Flash, the two top scoring teams picked their alliance partners for the three final rounds, and Tanky and The Destroyer’s alliance claimed victory!  This camp featured a more unusual game for Camp Eureka, combining scoring skills with defense and strategy.  We had an amazing time this past week!

Afternoon Session

The afternoon session was filled with the ever-careful driving practice of lining up for the hang in the game, with several teams just finishing up their robot.  The qualification matches went by rapidly, and after a lunch break, the championship matches began.  Unstoppable and E.T., the top scoring teams determined their alliance partners and the championships began. Naxamite and E.T. won the championships, making the first ever case of students in both sessions winning both morning and afternoon championships! Congratulations to the winning teams and we look forward to another fun-filled week of robots next month!