Kent State hosts kids for LEGO WeDo Robotics camp


A camper builds a LEGO model during a LEGO WeDo Robotics Level 1 camp in the AT&T Classroom of Moulton Hall on Monday, July 20, 2015.

Austin Bennett

In an effort to strengthen its relationship with the community, Kent State began Level Two of its LEGO WeDo Robotics camp Monday.

Students who participated in the previous camp were invited back to participate in this week’s activities.

“The series of six main activities and four problem-solving activities integrates STEM and pre-engineering concepts and applications of science,” said Annette Kratcoski, director at Kent State’s Research Center for Educational Technology.

The camp is one of several STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) camps hosted by the university, and this one is put on by the Research Center for Educational Technology in the College of Education, Health and Human Services.

The curriculum challenges students to think in a different way by using problem solving to build various LEGO models with robotics software.

“They are learning something, and they don’t even know it,” camp instructor Thomas McNeal said.

He said that many kids like to play with LEGOs, but this environment gives the students an introduction to engineering.

“Anyone can buy the motor parts to build these things, but this class helps me learn how to use them,” said 10-year-old Dillon Sheppard.

Traci Williams, whose son is attending the robotics camp this week, said she advocates that children should learn through play.

“If I can expose my child to working with LEGOs but actually building something that moves and then that creation comes to life, what parent wouldn’t want to expose their child to that?” Williams said. “In his mind, he probably thinks, ‘Oh I’m just playing with LEGOs,’ but technically he is learning so much more.”

Throughout the camp, the students take pictures and videos of everything they make. At the end of the week, the students take home a flash drive with all of their projects on it.

Contact Austin Bennett at [email protected]