Summer STEM & Design Camp Class Topics

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ROBOTICS AND BEYOND’S ONLINE CAMP CLASS TOPICS

Assistance with camp fees: We have limited funds for assistance with camp fees. If you would like to request assistance please print and scan/email or mail back our Tuition Assistance form or reply to the questions by email to camp@roboticsandbeyond.org.

Please read the detailed information for each topic below in order to decide on your choices. We reserve the right to remove a topic or change its scope.

Prerequisite abilities:  Be sure that your student meets any prerequisite abilities mentioned for desired topics.

Extra material fees:  Several topics involve an extra materials fee. Some are required (such as for Drones) or optional (such as for Microcontrollers). Those fees are indicated in the topic descriptions. Mandatory fees are paid at the time of registration.

Student software accounts:  Several topics require that an online account be created for software so the student can continue their work outside of the camp. Examples are for Programming in Scratch, CAD/3D Printing, and Graphic Design and Animation. Your camper registration form allows you to provide that email account address.

ROBOTICS | CIRCUITS, MICROCONTROLLERS & MICROCOMPUTERS | DESIGN & VIDEOGRAPHY | CODING | GAMES & GAME DEVELOPMENT


ROBOTICS

Introduction to Robotics with LEGO NXT (expand for details)

Ages: 8-14; Weeks: June 29, July 6, 20, 27, Aug. 10

Times of instructor assistance
Real-time mentor assistance: M-F, 10-11am
Delayed response assistance by email or chat: 24-hour

Description: Build a robot at home using a kit of parts and learn fundamentals of programming and engineering with LEGO’s programmable NXT bricks, motors, sensors and Mindstorms software. Students work through a series of simple tasks and then choose from a list of more challenging but attainable tasks. Instructions will be printed and included in each kit but also available online. For information on LEGO NXT and EV3 robotics systems and how they are different or similar here is a great link: http://robotsquare.com/2013/07/16/ev3-nxt-compatibility/

Instruction details: Live interaction with the instructor will occur each day, Monday – Friday, at 10-11am using either Zoom or Google Classroom with video by Google Meet. Delayed, off-line help by email or chat will be available all day, every day.

Computer requirements: A link will be provided for free software for programming the NXT robot. Any WIN 8 or 10 or Apple computer will run the software. (include link here So parents can see if it works?)

Additional information: none

Cost: $100; Deposit for robotics parts: $200

Intermediate Robotics with NXT or EV3 (expand for details)

May choose for two periods/day with permission. Ages 12+ or by permission and prior experience with LEGO NXT or EV3 robotics. Students will explore larger and more complex robots and programming in individual and/or group projects using LEGO NXT or EV3. Programming uses Mindstorms or RobotC. This topic is especially good for students wanting to gain skills for a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) or FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team, or who want to begin learning a C-based language and have a fun way to apply it. A FLL, 2019 competition field will be available for campers wanting to learn about this program or sharpen their skills. Offered Period 3 (P3).

Learn about LEGO Mindstorms

Learn more about EV3 and NXT

Intermediate Robotics with VEX (expand for details)

May choose for two periods/day with permission. Ages 12+ or by permission and prior experience with LEGO NXT or EV3, or VEX robotics. For students wanting to explore larger and more complex robots using metal components, nuts and bolts, and hands-on electrical connections. Programming uses Mindstorms or RobotC. This topic is especially good for students wanting to gain skills for a VEX or FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) competition team, or who want to learn a C-based language and have a fun way to apply it. Offered Period 1 (P1).

Learn more about VEX

CIRCUITS, MICROCONTROLLERS AND MICROCOMPUTERS

Electronics 2: Circuit Design and Fabrication (expand for details)

Ages 12+ and some experience with soldering or circuits, or by permission. Circuit boards are the heart of every electronic device we encounter. In this class, you will learn about every step of the process, from design to prototyping to fabrication. Materials fee: $25. Offered Period 2 (P2).

(NOTE: a higher level of CAD will be offered in our STEM & Design Academy summer program.)

  • learn about the many steps involved in manufacturing printed circuit boards with hands on work and a virtual tour of commercial fabrication processes.
  • start with a simple circuit and the simple electrical equations and math involved to make sure that the circuit will operate correctly and safely.
  • learn how breadboards work by actually creating that same circuit, testing it and making electrical measurements to compare with your math.
  • create the same circuit using perforated board and soldering.
  • learn basics of circuit design software such as Eagle or NI Multisim to design the circuit.  You will have a professionally made version of the circuit, designed by Robotics And Beyond and fabricated by a circuit board manufacturer, and solder the devices onto the board and see it work.

DESIGN AND VIDEOGRAPHY

Graphic Design and Animation Level 1 (expand for details)

Ages 9+. No keyboarding skills required. Explore true artistic graphic design, in 2-dimensions, with the free software FireAlpaca, and learn to create animations of your work. Students will create their own account for their projects and can continue using the software at home. Student projects are shown as a collection to the entire camp on Fridays and hosted on the Robotics And Beyond YouTube channel. FireAlpaca is an open-source graphic art alternative to Photoshop and has the added benefit of animation, and is a great way to start learning about graphic art software in general. See the FireAlpaca website for more information. Offered Period 2 (P2) or 3 (P3).

Graphic Design and Animation Level 2 (expand for details)

Ages 12+ or by permission and experience with Krita, FireAlpaca or another graphic design software. Students will gain higher skill levels in graphic design and animation using the free, open-source software Krita, which is a step above FireAlpaca and more professional in capabilities. Students will create their own account for their projects and can continue using the software at home. Student projects are shown as a collection to the entire camp on Fridays and hosted on the Robotics And Beyond YouTube channel. Offered Period 3 (P3).

Introduction to 3D Modeling and Printing (expand for details)

Ages 9+ or by permission. For students with no experience with CAD (Computer Aided Design) and 3D printing. Learn the fundamentals of 3D design using Autodesk TinkerCAD, including functions of the software and many important terms used in higher level CAD software. Learn how a 3D printer actually works, create a 3D model, and have it printed. Computers are provided but students may bring their own account and laptop if successful in loading and running the software. Offered Period 4 (P4).

Instructions for setting up an Autodesk account and downloading software.

Intermediate 3D Modeling 1 (expand for details)

Ages 12+ or by permission and basic Windows knowledge (making a new folder, renaming things, saving files, etc.); any experience with Blender or other CAD (Computer Aided Design) program is a benefit but not required. Students will learn the basics of the industry-grade software package Autodesk Inventor or Fusion360. Students will learn how to create simple 2D and 3D sketches, shapes, and models and have one of their designs printed. Computers are provided but students may bring their own account and laptop if successful in loading and running the software. Autodesk Inventor and Fusion 360 are available at no cost to any student by creating a student account. Offered Period 2 (P2).

Instructions for setting up an Autodesk account and downloading software.

Intermediate 3D Modeling 2 (expand for details)

Ages 12+ or by permission and has taken Intermediate 3D Modeling 1 or a high school class in a 3D modeling or CAD (computer aided design) class. For students with basic experience with CAD software. Students will use Autodesk Inventor or Fusion360 to learn how to make assemblies of multiple 3D models, create drawings and blueprints of their designs, and create stress-tests for their designs. Computers are provided but students may bring their own account and laptop if successful in loading and running the software. Autodesk Inventor and Fusion 360 are available at no cost to any student by creating a student account. Offered Period 1 (P1).

(NOTE: a higher level of CAD will be offered in our STEM & Design Academy summer program.)

Instructions for setting up an Autodesk account and downloading software.

Engineering Challenges (expand for details)

Ages 8-10. New topic! Using basic LEGO parts, LEGO Technics and a wide range of other building materials, students will design solutions to a variety of challenges. Working alone, in pairs or as a group, students will be encouraged to let their curiousity lead them to innovative designs for each challenge. Designs will be as simple or complex as their imagination and materials will enable. Offered Period 3 (P3) and 4 (P4). Must register for both Period 3 and 4.

CODING

Scratch (expand for details)

Ages 10+ and some experience with coding or by permission. No keyboard skills necessary. Students should create a Scratch account at home before the class or provide an email address that can be used to create an account in the camp. Scratch is a “drag and drop” programming language developed at MIT. It is free and easily used with no risk of downloads to a 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 also be used to create very complex programs for games and simulations in many subjects like physics, math, computers, and engineering. Students will create their own personal Scratch account, learn how to begin and save projects, create simple programs, find interesting projects online and see the actual code, and understand and change the code to change the outcome of the program. Offered Period 1 (P1).

For more information about Scratch and to create an account go to www.scratch.mit.edu.

Python 1: Introduction to Python (expand for details)

Ages 11+ or by permission. Some keyboard (typing) ability is important for this class. Python is an excellent first language for text-based coding and for learning fundamentals of programming and is also becoming the Language-of-Choice at more and more universities for introducing programming concepts and skills. Python is also very valuable for careers and personal interests. Python is a common language for Linux-based operating systems and software and for Raspberry Pi microcomputers. This class begins with an introduction to the four basic concepts common to every language of programming. Students will work through a series of exercises to understand the concepts and begin to learn the Python language syntax and structure. Following this class, students will be ready for more advanced classes in Python or be well prepared to begin learning other programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, C or HTML with us, in school or online. Offered Period 4 (P4).

Visit the Python website to download the required software to program in Python and to learn more about it. Visit our Suggested Reading page for more information on Python.

Python 2: Intermediate skills in Python (expand for details)

Ages 13+ or by permission. Basic experience in Python is required such as our Python 1 class, on-line tutorials or personal projects in Raspberry Pi or other topics. Keyboard (typing) ability is important for this class. This class will review basic skills and concepts and move on to more complex and longer programs, using interesting projects, to build a knowledge of important vocabulary, coding grammar (syntax), program structure and fundamental programming concepts. Students will be introduced to real-world applications for Python used in careers in manufacturing, publishing and other fields. Offered Period 3 (P3).

Visit the Python website to download the required software to program in Python and to learn more about it. Visit our Suggested Reading page for more information on Python. Python is an excellent first language for text-based coding and for learning fundamentals of programming and is also becoming the Language-of-Choice at more and more universities for introducing programming concepts and skills. Python is also very valuable for careers and personal interests. Python is a common language for Linux-based operating systems and software and for Raspberry Pi microcomputers.

Java 1: Introduction to Java (expand for details)

Ages 12+ or by permission. Some prior coding experience in any language is required. Some keyboard (typing) ability is important for this class. Students will begin learning the Java language and syntax with simple programs of 5-20 lines. After learning the basics, continue with more complex and longer programs to build your knowledge of syntax, program structure and fundamental programming concepts. Java is a widely used language for many server and web applications and is also the basis for Advanced Placement (AP) programming and computer science classes in high school and many college classes. It is the most popular programming language for running the operations of businesses, schools and other organizations and is used on more than one billion devices worldwide. Java is more challenging to learn as a first language than Python but is more valuable for long-term involvement with coding, learning other languages and understanding how different languages work together in a single software program or platform. Offered Period 1 (P1).

Java 2: Intermediate skills in Java (expand for details)

Ages 12+ or by permission. Prior experience with Java is required, such as in our Java 1 class, personal projects, on-line classes or a class at a school.  Keyboard (typing) ability is important for this class. Students will review basic skills, concepts and functions and then gain deeper skills. Students will create more complex and longer programs, using interesting projects, to build a knowledge of important vocabulary, coding grammar (syntax), program structure and fundamental programming concepts. Offered Period 2 (P2).

GAMES AND GAME DEVELOPMENT

Game Development with GameSalad (expand for details)

Ages 10+ or by permission. No keyboarding skills are required. Prerequisites: An interest in game design and the ability to listen to instructors and learn basic skills. GameSalad is a very low-cost software package that allows easy use of characters and objects to design, test and play video games. Students will learn important concepts of game strategy, layout, progression and character creation. This topic, along with experience in any “C”-based language, will help students prepare for text-based game development software like Unity or Unreal Engine. Offered Period 2 (P2) or 4 (P4).

Learn more by visiting the GameSalad website.

Minecraft Server Construction (expand for details)

Ages 11+ or by permission. No keyboarding skills required. We use Minecraft to teach fundamentals of setting up and operating a game server that hosts multiple players. These include the hardware that servers require, the setup of an internet server, and the software components and skills that are needed such as permissions and plug-ins. This is great preparation for trying to create your own server at home and for pursuing computer science in high school or college. On Friday of each camp week, the server and game maps created during the week will be offered to the entire camp and run by the class that created it. Offered Period 2 (P2) or 4 (P4).