Different Gifts, Different Needs: Robotics And Beyond at Hunt Hill Farm

This in-person camp is designed for young people needing a flexible learning and social environment but wanting to discover new interests and grow their creative, collaborative, technical and social skills.

June 28-July 2, 9am-12 noon (half day), class limit 6

August 2-6, 9am-3pm (full day), class limit 12, Late pickup available through 5pm (for full day program only).

Grades 4-8 (or by permission)

This is an exciting collaboration between Robotics And Beyond, Dr. Stephanie Soalt, ND, art and special-needs therapist, and the beautiful, rustic and creative facilities of Hunt Hill Farm in New Milford, CT. Hunt Hill Farm is just a few miles north of New Milford town center on Rt. 202 at 44 Upland Road. Hunt Hill has a long history of non-profit education and performance in music and the arts, cooking and agriculture since its creation in 1972 by world-renowned composer and conductor Skitch Henderson and his wife, Ruth. Under its new leadership by Alessandro Piovezahn, Hunt Hill is expanding to foster collaborations between the worlds of music, performing arts, technology, agriculture and culinary arts. A major focus of the Hunt Hill mission is youth development and expanding the resources available to individuals with special needs and their families.

Campers will take part in three activities described below. For the half day camp, the program will involve time in all three activities but will adapt to the interests of the group.

Activity 1: Social Skills Group with Robotics

Using kits of parts and instructions, campers will work together to build and program LEGO Mindstorms robots. Camper roles will include designer, supplier, builder and programmer which will work together to accomplish achievable and rewarding tasks. The projects will involve problem solving, teamwork, responsibility, social interactions and hands-on building, and use of simple programming methods.

Activity 2: LEGO Engineering Design Challenges

This activity will involve creating solutions to artistic and functional design challenges that will include imaginative problem solving, hands-on building and the cycle of testing, evaluation and re-design and re-testing. Campers will use prepared collections of LEGO parts and other materials to bring their ideas and solutions to life.

Activity 3: Creative Expression and Inventive Design

Based on concepts developed by Andy Goldsworthy, campers will take part in individual and collaborative projects that invite freedom of creative expression and inventive design. Natural materials from the Hunt Hill property, and man-made materials, water, light and shadow, will be available to create responses to ideas or challenges. The objects and structures constructed may be functional or purely artistic. The activities will involve time outdoors for collecting materials and constructing some designs, while others may be built indoors.

Read about Andy Goldsworthy’s approach and see some of his works.

Watch this video about Andy Goldsworthy.