Post Event Survey of Robotics Camps Show Positive Impact

Summer Robotics Camps capture the interest and imagination of middle and high school
students by following current exciting trends in robotics and automated systems. Since the inception of the camps in 2005, FLATE’s robotics camps have provided a number of exciting opportunities for students to explore their interest in STEM and robotics and learn their application in high-tech manufacturing operations. The overarching goal being to spark middle and high school students’ interest in STEM/robotics, and more importantly encourage them to pursue related educational and career pathways. FLATE’s robotics camps provide a “STEM-ulating” experience that is targeted to foster unique experiences in advanced technology education while serving as a model for other high-tech camps to emulate.

This summer FLATE hosted four robotics camps for middle and high school students at its home campus at Hillsborough Community College. Report from the camps were published in the July and August editions of the FLATE Focus. Since the conclusion of the camps FLATE has been meticulously working on compiling survey data that is a core strength of FLATE’s efforts in measuring and gauging the effectiveness of its programs. Feedback from the camps have been overwhelmingly positive and is poised to help streamline current/future outreach and professional development programs to middle and high school students.

Outlined below are data highlights from the camps hosted onsite by FLATE at Hillsborough

Community College in Brandon. Approximately 95% of the students who responded to the post camp survey stated the robotics camps provided opportunities for teamwork and collaborations with others. Of the campers who responded to the survey, approximately 90% stated programming the robot helped them see how automated systems are programmed and controlled. Approximately 91% percent of the students who responded to the survey also stated the camp helped them better understand how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are used in industry. Approximately 84% also stated learning to program the robot by thinking logically will help while solving other problems in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects in school. 

Regional camps, modeled after the FLATE robotics camps, were also held at the Institute for
Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) at Pensacola and at Ocala. Post event survey data from regional camps showed differing responses from students, with campers placing greater emphasis on other aspects of the camps. At IHMC Pensacola, which hosted two intro level camps, 88% of the students who responded to the post event survey stated programming the robot helped them see how automated systems are programmed and controlled. The same percentage (88%) also stated the camp helped them better understand how STEM concepts are used in industry. Nearly 87% also stated the camp provided opportunities for teamwork and collaborations with others. Of the campers at IHMC Pensacola who responded to the survey nearly 84% stated learning to program the robot by thinking logically will help them while solving other problems in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects in school.

IHMC camps in Ocala also elicited similar response. Post camp survey data shows nearly 86%

of the students who responded to the survey stated the camp provided opportunities for teamwork and collaborations with others. The same percentage (86%) also stated the camp provided opportunities for teamwork and collaborations with others. Of the campers who responded, nearly 85% stated the camp helped them better understand how STEM concepts are used by industry. Approximately 83% of the students who took the survey also stated programming the robot helped them see how automated systems are programmed and controlled.

Regional camps were also held at St. Petersburg College. Frank H. Peterson Academies in Jacksonville and at North Florida Community College in Madison. FLATE is also in the process of compiling the survey data from the high school camp and will report it when the data is available in the future. For more information about FLATE’s STEM and robotics programs visit www.fl-ate.org and www.madeinflorida.org, or visit the FLATE Wiki which has a number of free STEM resources for educators.