Winter 2016 Camp Eureka Blog

Day 1 (12/27/2016)

VEX IQ Robotics Session

Today the students were  introduced to Kukini! Kukini means foot races and in ancient Hawaii the top runners competed and were later recruited by chiefs to be messengers or spies. Similar to drag races, robots drive to specific mark (12ft) in the shortest amount of time. By working on these robots students learned simple drive trains, drag and gear ratios!

Engineering Session

To start off the engineering fun, students worked on mini Hawaiian wa’a (canoe) designs! This little activity helped teach students how concepts like buoyancy and water displacement need to be considered to design a watercraft that will support “x” of weight! Infact, the students competed to win the “Strongest Wa’a” Award, which was awarded to the wa’a that could hold the most weight.

 

Day 2 (12/28/2016)

VEX IQ Robotics Session

Ulu maika (Hawaiian bowling) is similar to American bowling, except it uses two stakes and a disc shaped stone. The object of the game is to roll the stone between the stakes from a certain distance away. We put a twist on this fun activity by creating a course of “stakes” and exchanging the disc shaped stone for a VEX IQ robot carrying a VEX IQ tire! We encouraged students to build a robot with a simple lift that could pick up an object (tire), carry it through a series of stakes created with vex IQ parts. The area between the stakes progressively got smaller as the students went through the course, requiring the students to limit the size of their robot (only using resources needed) and learn precise driving skills! We were pleased to see everyone working hard on their robot, incorporating gear ratios, lifts, and simple programming in their new robots!

Engineering Session

Inspired by ohia trees, we focused on how to support a weight in the air! Students learned the basics of building a miniature “tree” (tower) that can hold weights on its uppermost “branches”. Here, they had to use strong shapes to support the tree and it’s weight with out it toppling over or breaking.

 

Day 3 (12/29/2016)

VEX IQ Robotics Session

This morning we finished up on Ulu Maika, and started on the final game, the Animal Reservation! This game combined all the skills the kids learned throughout the week as the teams rushed through the 3 minute matches to collect endangered animal (Hawaiian Monk Seal and Green Sea Turtle) cubes and bring them to their “reservations” according to animal. It was great to see students using speed gear ratios, incorporating simple and complex cube capture designs  in their robots and practicing the driving skills that they learned in Ulu Maika!

Engineering Session

To start the session off, we finished the Strongest Ohia Trees and tested how much weight each tree could hold. Once we finished that activity, we moved on to the Hawaiian Structure Building! With that theme in mind, students were taught about how to use different engineering principles to create a small building model that could withstand the stimulated natural elements – high wind, earthquakes, and heavy rain.

 

Day 4 (12/30/2016)

VEX IQ Robotics Session

The first half of the session today was dedicated to finishing the Animal Reservation robots so that the kids could have a robotics competition when the parents came! We noticed that many students had gone through several designs throughout the week, and especially during the short build period for the Animal Reservation game. Each time they re-evaluated their designs – adding this, taking away that – they grew more attached and excited about their robots! The final competition was truly exciting, with more than a few close matches, especially in the finals. We hope that the students and their parents enjoyed their VEX IQ robot experience!

Engineering Session

Today we had a day full of exciting activities, starting with a water balloon drop! Students were challenged to protect a water balloon from a 3 story high drop. Plus, they had two sub-challenges with in the main one – with a parachute and without! Now students had to think about the mechanical and physical properties of the different materials available while building the “capsule” for the water balloon. In addition, the students took a walk around campus to go on a Structural Principles Scavenger Hunt! They looked at different aspects of the Hilo High Buildings and pointed out specific examples of structural principles, like structural members and materials with certain mechanical properties. To finish the day off, we dove into Water Balloon Catapults! Each group worked on creating a catapult that could successfully launch small water balloons. By the end we were all tired by the full but fun day!