Success Stories of Homeschoolers in Robotics to Inspire Your Summer Camp Plans

Success Stories of Homeschoolers in Robotics to Inspire Your Summer Camp Plans

Homeschool families are often looking for an integrated approach to their children’s learning, where natural curiosities can lead academic studies and experiments. Robotics summer camps give kids a whole new perspective on STEM learning, with access to high-end technology and computer software. Moreover, they’ll meet with other young people in their community that have similar interests. It’s a win-win situation your family can get involved in this summer.

As you think about making robotics homeschool curriculum a part of you summer plans, here are some success stories of homeschooling robotics teams following their passion all across the country.

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World Competition in St. Louis

Competing in robotics competition isn’t limited to students with years of experience.

Last year, members of the Gulf Coast Christian Home Scholars (GCCHS) of Texas competed at the World Competition in St. Louis. The competition included students from across the country and around the world, including France, Australia, Japan, China, United Arab Emirates, and Ecuador. There, GCCHS first beat out strong competition at the regional level including winning the 7th spot out of 24 spots in the World Championship advanced roster.

For a team, only two years old, this group of nine quickly came together to grow teamwork, self-reliability and problem-solving in addition to competing at their highest level.

Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology Robotics competition

Sometimes, all it takes is one innovative design to win the prize.

In October of 2015, students of the Abilene Homeschool Association compete at the Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology robotics competition at Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, Texas. The team battled against major competition from neighboring towns like the Roscoe Collegiate High School, Sweetwater High School and Abilene’s Academy for Technology, Engineering, Math and Science.

Despite stiff competition, the AHA homeschool team came out on top. They placed third overall, even though the group had just been formed the year before. That year’s theme, which had been centered on a mining task was well received by the AHA team. Together, they devised a scooping robot and bucket, capable of collecting items and dropping them in the bin.

All students on the team remarked that besides building their engineering and programming skills, they have also developed deeper relationships with each other and are better equipped to interact in large social settings.

Waukesha County 4-H and FIRST Lego League

Elementary students are making their mark too.

A 10-year-old from Johnson Creek, WI discovered a passion for robotics homeschool curriculum after taking part in the Waukesha County 4-H and FIRST Lego League. The fifth grader belongs to Impossibotz, a team that has beaten the odds and made major strides in competitions. Not only has the team tied for first in Wisconsin state competitions, but has also traveled to Arkansas to compete on an international level.

A team made up of kids ages 8-12, mostly rookies, all agreed that they were getting more out of the competitions than a knowledge of the way robotics work. They were motivated by a sense of professionalism, inspiration, and teamwork as well as sportsmanship with other teams competing. Though they admit these attributes didn’t always come easy, they were necessary to build a stronger team.

The team also became more realistic about the types of projects they took on. Designing robots to combat real-life problems, like natural disasters and wildlife protection, can be solved with the use of robots. This team chose to focus their efforts on changes at Florida power plants that could bring down water temperature around the plants since, in the past, higher temperatures have attracted manatees. The project became known as “Manatee Solar Spa Sanctuary” involving vacuum tubes and solar power.

They say another positive attribute of participating in robot competitions is all of the practice they get interviewing with people. It’s a boost to their communication skills, and also help them learn their own designs more completely.

Although next big projects turn into how to fundraise for their competitions, they’ve gained the confidence to make those next big steps.

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FIRST LEGO League Open European Championship

Robotics competitions are making quite the splash across the pond as well.

Specifically designed for kids ages 9 to 16, the FIRST LEGO League Open European Championship challenges students to expand their robot knowledge and challenge what they can do. Usually, groups are made up of about 10 students and one adult coach. Teams are given targeted tasks which they must complete as a group, all with a set amount of materials.

The Robo-Raptors Club of Ontario experienced some of that international success in Germany at the FIRST LEGO League Open European Championship. The team was made up of seven 9-14-year-olds from three different homeschooling families.

At the FLL Niagara Regional Qualifying Tournament, the team placed third and were given the Robot Mechanical Design Award. Later, the team was invited to participate in the Open European Championship in Germany. With such a high prestige, the team was thrilled to take their skills to the next level and to compete with the best of the best worldwide.

These are just a few of many success stories of homeschoolers getting the most out of robotics homeschool curriculum. The benefits of such programs are truly limitless. Especially for homeschoolers, robotics summer camps mean forming strong friendships, competing alongside brothers and sisters, learning the importance of teamwork and communicating ideas, and meeting and surpassing challenges. Even more so, kids are leading their own learning in robotics workshops. Families will watch as simple curiosities turn into elaborate new creations. It’s never too early to start building up an interest that just may become a lifelong passion.

Now is the perfect time to get your homeschooling family and community involved in robotics homeschool curriculum. As activities and carpools slow down during the summer months, kids will have the chance to immerse themselves in the depths of robot building.

Derek Capo