Summer Fun with Robots

Gone are the days when robots meant a funky looking character out of a sci-fi movie. FLATE’s robotics camps are a BIG hit among students, parents, and educators, and have successfully repositioned robots as “COOL”.

This year FLATE is offering five robotics camps at the HCC Brandon Campus for middle school students with a special, first-of-its-kind "girls only" offering! The initiative represents a cohesive partnership between FLATE and Hillsborough Community College—host of the camps, and sponsors Jaeger Corporation, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and Bay Area Manufacturers Association.

Camp 1 from June 21-25 and Camp 2 from June 28-July 2 are introductory level camps open to everyone. Camp 3 from July 12-16 is for girls only. These three sessions provide a basic overview of robotics technology, and its applications in industrial and everyday settings. To compete in daily challenges, participants have to program and reconfigure Lego® Mindstorms® Robots, and learn to integrate concepts of the “design phase” of modern manufacturing using SolidWorks software and 3D printing technology.

Camps 4 and 5 are advanced camps which will be offered July 19-23 and July 26-30, respectively. These offer bigger challenges, build on what students learned during camp one, and require previous attendance at an HCC robot camp. After a quick review of programming skills, the advanced camps will focus on building a robot from scratch to solve a specific design-related problem.

In addition to offering students an exciting opportunity to experience the different facets of modern technologies, each of the camps will educate students about the basic principles of mathematics, physics, manufacturing processes, automation and machines through hands-on learning within a fun and friendly team environment. Participants will also be engaged in hands-on SolidWorks design and 3D printing projects, and will tour a modern manufacturing facility or a scientific laboratory to witness robotic applications at work.

FLATE’s robotics camps also enjoy widespread popularity. They are fun, challenging and bring an exciting dimension to learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics. FLATE will offer two introductory level camps in Pinellas County at D.L. Jamerson Elementary School in July. As part of the partnership, DLJ will provide facilities to host two camps at no cost allowing FLATE to keep its pricing structure consistent in the Tampa Bay area. The camps are scheduled for week of June 28 and July 12. The latter is a "girls only" session. With support from FLATE, Central Florida Community College will host two level one camps at its Ocala campus the week of July 12 and July 19. The latter is for "girls only".

For more information visit, or contact Dave Gula at 813.259.6581,

Snapshot of the 2009 Robotics Camp at HCC. More at

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