Robots are Coming to Brandon!

Summer is sure to be fun with FLATE offering several robotics and engineering camps this
summer. Middle and high school students here in the Tampa bay area and throughout Florida have the option to choose from various options to whet their STEM appetite, with a special “Girls Only” camp to kick off the season. The five day camps have always been a challenging, yet fun way for campers to learn the applications of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics through hands-on activities that focus on real-world skills in programming robots, learning about cutting edge technologies like 3D printing and how these concepts are integrated and applied in high-tech manufacturing operations across the state.

Since the advent of FLATE robotics camps in 2007, the program, both in terms of the number of camp offerings locally and regionally, and the curriculum, has greatly evolved. For the past two years, FLATE has started using the Lego® Mindstorms® EV3 robots, where campers have the opportunity to build and program an EV3 robot to further augment and enhance their understanding of STEM and robotics. Camps for the Tampa Bay area will be held at Hillsborough Community College in Brandon. Cost for the intro and intermediate camp is $175 per week; cost for the high school engineering and technology camp is $200 a week.

This year’s schedule and list of camp offerings include:

June 20-24:                  Introductory EV3 Robotics Camp for Middle School GIRLS ONLY!
June 27-July 1:            Introductory EV3 Robotics Camp for ALL Middle School students
July 11-15:                  Intermediate EV3 Robotics Camp for ALL Middle School students
July 25-29:                  Engineering Technology Camp for High School Students

The camps have historically been a fun, educational way to “hook” students and get them excited
about STEM and manufacturing with each camp offering different level of challenges. Enrollment into the   introductory camp requires no prior knowledge, or experience in robotics, or programming. The intermediate camp however, requires some basic knowledge on how to program robots. Both the intro and intermediate camp are geared to teach students the basics of EV3 robots and how to program them. During the camp, students will learn how to build the LEGO® Mindstorms® EV3 robots and program them to follow specific commands. They will be part of several ‘robotic team challenges,’ learn design techniques using software programs, see demonstrations of a 3D printer, and write programs to operate the NAO robot.

Scholarships are available for Girl campers with preference given to girls enrolled in the All Girls camp. The Suncoast Credit Union Foundation is once again partnering with FLATE to provide scholarships for girls from low-income families to attend the All Girls camp. To qualify for the scholarship as well as apply for any of the camps throughout this summer, please fill out the registration forms that are currently posted on the FLATE Camps page.

The high school camp offers an invigorating STEM-ultimate experience and offers different level
of challenges to campers compared to the intro and intermediate camps. During the camp, students will use Solidworks and CAD to design a functional robotic arm. They will engage in 3D printing process using additive manufacturing techniques, and learn to program an Arduino microprocessor to operate servo motors. Students will gain an understanding about electronics and precision needed for building robots, learn entrepreneurial skills used by successful business owners and tour a local advanced manufacturing facility.   This year, Hillsborough County is providing scholarships for the High School camps for low income high school students. 

Thanks to a grant from Hillsborough County, scholarships are also available for students interested in enrolling in the high school camp. Students from low income families, and/or those participating in a free and reduced lunch program are eligible to apply for the high school camp scholarship. A camp T-shirt, supplies and curriculum will be provided for all students and is included in the registration fee. More information on the high school camps, applications and scholarship are posted online on the FLATE Camps website.

In addition to the robotics camp in the greater Tampa Bay area, FLATE will also be offering camps at
St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, FL, at Marion Technical Institute in Ocala, Peterson Academy in Jacksonville, North Florida Community College in Madison and other locations as well. Information on the camps at St. Petersburg College in Pinellas County and Marion Technical Institute are posted on the FLATE website under “Other Robotics Camps,” scroll to the bottom of the page to get more information about the application process and dates of the camp. We will post more information about the other camps across the state as dates get finalized. Additionally, FLATE worked with contractors to develop a comprehensive summer camp curriculum. The curriculum package for the intro and intermediate camps includes all challenges, lessons, and PowerPoints needed to run a five day camp, and is now available free of charge on FLATE’s Wiki http://flate.pbworks.com/w/page/10889505/FrontPage.

For more information on FLATE’s 2016 Robotics and High School Technology camps visit www.fl-ate.org/projects/camps.html, and www.madeinflorida.org. For camp registration and general inquiries contact Janice Mukhia at news@fl-ate.org and Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.orgbarger@fl-ate.org