Generations of children have grown up playing with construction toys like LEGOs, Lincoln Logs, and Erector sets. The drive to build something is innate in most people, and sadly, this tendency to create gets lost as time goes on. Many of us, especially right-brainers, become intimidated fairly early on by engineering and other hard sciences when we realize the amount of math involved. But what if we’d been given the opportunity to view these subjects in a more engaging way? For years now, the SEAD Academy in Bryan has been making the hard sciences less intimidating to the younger generation by matching them with the creative arts. According to their website, “by pairing subjects that are notoriously unapproachable with art and design through immersive activities, . . . participants develop interest and gain confidence in subjects they previously considered out of reach.” From July 8–July 12, the SEAD Academy will be running their DSTR Robotics & Programming camp in Downtown Bryan for children ages 12–16.
The goal of DSTR – an acronym for Digital System for Teaching and Research, pronounced “disaster” – is to teach students the “fundamentals of mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering through the design and construction of a DSTR articulated-leg suspension robot.” The campers will be assigned to teams that will construct the robot, and after going through the process of building it, they will be able to control it by way of a cell-phone app! The team will document the whole process on a specific wiki page designed for the camp, and DSTR’s grand finale will be a robot race between all of the teams!
The DSTR camp is operated by Matt Leonard, former NASA engineer and current president and CEO of T STAR (Texas Space Technology Applications and Research), the company that brought the space industry to Bryan/College Station. Not only will your children be learning life-skills through creativity and teamwork, but they will be learning it all from industry professionals with decades of experience under their belt! Indeed, the camp’s value has not gone unnoticed, and a special thank you goes to Reynolds & Reynolds, developers of software for automotive retailers, for providing scholarships for several local kids, allowing them to participate for free.
The DSTR Robotics & Programming camp will run from 1:00-5:00 p.m. July 8 – 12, and reservations are $350.00. If you want to motivate your children to pursue engineering and other sciences in a way that encourages creativity, problem-solving, and teamwork, be sure to follow this link for more information: http://bit.ly/2XktzCY