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Grades 3-6 & 7-12. 1-day workshops, or multi-day classes and week long summer camp, 2 hours/class. In-person only.
Build a robot and learn fundamentals of programming and robotics engineering with LEGO’s programmable NXT or EV3 robotics system of controller, motors, sensors and Mindstorms software. The use of NXT or EV3 system will depend on the student’s age and experience. Students will work in pairs but exceptions may be allowed to work alone. Once students accomplish required tasks and simpler challenges, they can choose from higher level challenges or build a more complex robot of their own design or one provided by the instructors. The final class will include optional robot battles within a 4 foot arena ring where students test mechanical design and programming strategies against each other.
Grades 3-12. 1-day workshops, or 1 to 2 hour sessions in multi-day classes and week long summer camps. In-person or Online.
Explore true artistic graphic design, in 2-dimensions, with the free, open-source software FireAlpaca, and learn to create animations of your work. Students will create their own account and can continue using the software year-round. Student projects from summer camps will be stored as a video on our YouTube channel. FireAlpaca is an open-source graphic art alternative to Photoshop and has the added benefit of animation. This is a great way to start learning about graphic art software and animation concepts and skills in general like layering, textures, color palettes and much more. This topic provides a great basis for learning about more capable animation software in our other camp topics like Krita and Pro-Create.
- The only requirement is an interest in graphic art and creating your own, original art and animations.
- Keyboard (typing) ability is needed only for saving and opening design files.
- Installation of Fire Alpaca on the student’s home computer is required. The software is safe to download and use. Instructions will be provided for downloading and installing the software if needed.
Grades 3-12 or by permission. 1-day workshops, or 1 to 2 hour sessions in multi-day classes and week long summer camps. In-person or Online.
Tinkercad is a great way for students interested in 3D modeling and design to get a feel for what working in a 3D environment is like! Tinkercad is a free, introductory educational software created by engineering software company Autodesk. Tinkercad runs in your browser so it requires no software download and allows you to create an account and save your projects. Students will learn how to create, dimension, combine, and customize pre-generated and custom drawn geometric shapes to create basic models, parts, and inventions. Tinkercad has many other fun uses like electronics and “brick building.” Tinkercad is also the perfect start for moving up to Autodesk Fusion 360, which is our choice for teaching higher levels of 3D modeling, product design, mechanical design and making prototypes. Each student can choose one suitable model to be printed by Robotics And Beyond and picked up in New Milford or mailed to the home.
- Computer access (Windows, Mac, or Chromebook all work!)
- Access to Google Chrome (other browsers may work but Chrome is what we base our classes on, so certain aspects may differ on Safari, Firefox, Edge, etc.)
- An Autodesk Tinkercad account (a tutorial for making the account will be sent to parents before classes begin)
Grades 3-9. 1-day workshops, or 1 to 2 hour sessions in multi-day classes and week long summer camps. In-person or Online.
Our "Programming in Scratch" topic serves students who want to begin learning to code and also those wanting to learn fundamentals of game development and animation for games.
Beginners (Level 1): No keyboard skills necessary! Scratch is a “drag and drop” programming language developed at MIT. It is free and easy to use with no risk to a home computer as it is done completely online. Scratch is excellent for learning all of the fundamental concepts of programming in any language and suitable for very young as well as older students. Scratch can be used to create very complex programs for games and simulations in many subjects like physics, math, computers, and engineering. Students will learn how to begin and save projects, and create simple programs and games like Maze and Pong. Students will learn how to find interesting projects online, see the actual code, and use and change the code to create their own games or animations.
Intermediate and advanced (Level 2): Learn more skills and fundamentals of coding while creating more difficult games and animations. Techniques include gravity, momentum and switches. Advanced coding skills and concepts to be learned include lists, variables, operators, procedures, conditionals, and loops, and learning to debug problems in their code.
Students must create a Scratch account at home before the class or provide an email address that can be used to create an account during the first class.