Fall Camp Eureka! : VEX IQ

Day 5: Competition Day

October 10th was the last day of our 2014 Fall Camp Eureka.

Today the kids had some time to add some final tweaks and fixes, as well as practice driving for the final competition.

After a long week of building, learning, and redesigning, the students are finally ready to showcase their work to their parents. The final competition was a soccer style game where robots must work in teams of two and score as many out of five balls into the opposing teams goal, as well as protect their own goal. This year we had a wide variety of robots, varying in their wheel setup, gear speed, and ball control. The games were full of action, trying to take the scoring balls from each other, and fighting to get control over goals. At one point a robot started falling apart from the intensity of competition. At the end of the day the winning alliance was recognized. The 2014 Fall Camp Eureka Champions were team “awesome ALT” lead by Alessandra Figueredo, Liam Arakawa, and Taylor Bugado, along with “Evil Andrew” lead by Kayden Yoshimura and Jonathan Okamura.

Thanks for all the parents, mentors, and students that made this camp successful. We hope to see you at another one of our camps, or at any other STEM related events.

Day 4

October 9th was the fourth day of our 2014 Fall Camp Eureka.

Today we let the kids get straight to work, in preparation for the drag race competition. After an hour refining their robots to their best quality, the drag race competition began. The kids must drive their robot to the end of a 10 feet long path, cross a blue line, turn around, and drive back. Although it sounds simple at first, in the actual race there were many unexpected struggles; the robots were sometimes too fast to control, and some robots ended up hitting each other, flipping over, or even running off the course. But at the end of the day, team “K-Bots”, consisting of Kyle Mayfield  and Kobe Shimabukuro, won the competition, showing their quality control.

After the drag race the kids had time to redesign their robots to play the final game, a soccer game. Here they must use all the skills they learned in the past week to build the best possible robot, balancing speed, strength, and control. Some groups have also started adding another moving part to their robots to hold the ball.

Day 3

October 8th was the third day of our 2014 Fall Camp Eureka.

Today we had the kids ask each other lots of questions about each other. After a certain amount of time they introduced their teammate to the entire class. To work with their teammates, it is important for the kids to know each other very well.

We started them off with the Maze competition, a race to navigate through a maze as fast as possible. This competition was won by Shin and Thomas Lockhart.

We then introduced them to the drag race competition; a competition of pure speed. In this competition the kids are challenged to apply their knowledge of gear ratios to build the fastest robot. They must keep in mind that certain ratios can make the robot faster, but it may also make it weaker.

We also revealed the final game, to be played on the day of the competition. The game is designed similarly to soccer. The teams must find a way to ‘kick’ or move the ball into the goal from a distance.

Day 2

October 7th was the second day of our 2014 Fall Camp Eureka.

We welcomed our kids back with another icebreaker. The kids were split into teams and tested on their general knowledge, resourcefulness, and teamwork. Each team, put into a corner, must complete a given task, displaying it to the person in the middle. The tasks ranged from singing explaining gear ratios, to naming all the mentors.

Back in the classroom, we explained the properties of gear ratios and their uses. The kids were then challenged to drive their robot through a maze as fast as possible. Some groups used their new knowledge of gear ratios to make their robot faster, some made their robots smaller to make it easier to maneuver through the maze.

Next class we plan to compete to see who can finish the maze the fastest without passing the walls of the maze.

Day 1

October 6th was the first day of our 2014 Fall Camp Eureka. We welcomed 17 young students to our classroom to teach them the basics of robotics and engineering through use of the VEX IQ robotics platform.

We first started the day with introductions and an ice breaker activity. The kids and their mentors were then challenged to build a 4 wheel drive train powered only by 2 motors. For this camp we decided not to provide the kids with instruction booklets, but had them figure it out on their own.

This was a big success. By the end of the day each group had their unique drive train using gears or pulleys. Some groups even had a chance to drive around their creation.