Robotics Camp Teaches Kids Engineering and Problem Solving

Duluth East Daredevils Teach Robotics at the Boys and Girls Club

DULUTH, Minn. – Custom built robots zipped through obstacle courses at the Boys and Girls Club of Duluth this summer.

“I think it’s fun,” says Rodrick Campbell, a robotics camper. “I like to play with remote control cars and how to see how they work and I like to play with my drones.”

It was all part of the second annual Lego Robotics Camp.

“I’ve always been interested in looking at the way things work and robotics really allowed me to expand on that,” says Cameron Anderson, co-captain of the Duluth East Daredevils robotics team, and a teacher at the camp.

At the camp, the Duluth East High School Daredevils robotics team teaches elementary and middle school kids the basics of programming and robotics.

“It’s our way of reaching out to this group who normally wouldn’t be able to have this experience,” says Anderson.

“If you want a good hockey player, you start them young,” says Tim Velner, coach of the Daredevils. “If you want a good engineer, you got to start them young, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The kids use those skills to design and build their own robots capable of making it through a challenging course.

“They’re given a problem to solve and then they have to engineer, both mechanically and with a program, a way to solve the problem,” says Velner.

If the robot can’t finish, it’s back to the drawing board for the campers.

“Most problems aren’t solved overnight, says Velner. “They’re solved because we have the grit to stick with it.”

The kids make upgrades until their robots are unstoppable.

“I learned that you should never stop trying,” says camper Ira Alves.

The kids have a lot of fun and, in the process, learn valuable skills needed in the modern world.

“I love the idea of inspiring the next generation especially of engineers,” says Anderson.

“When I’m growing up, I want to be a mechanical engineer,” says Campbell.