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Summer plans for your kids? It’s Ready, Set, Robots! time

High schoolers learn valuable programming and future career skills in this hands-on summer camp

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—It takes a village to raise a child, right? Especially when cultivating the future generation of science technology engineering and math (STEM) pioneers. Indiana University’s Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI) is doing its bit to help.

This summer, PTI is hosting its annual Ready, Set, Robots! camps for teens, and your 7-12 graders are invited!

Now in its 11th consecutive year, this hands-on, two-day camp requires no prerequisites or computer programming skills, just a curious mind and an interest in technology. Participants will learn basic computer programming skills as they work in teams alongside IU technology professionals to command LEGO® Mindstorms® robots to simulate a Mars rover mission. And for the third summer in a row, PTI is offering an advanced camp for teens with previous programming or Mindstorms® experience.

From computer programming terminology to public speaking and respect for equipment and the facilities, there is something for everyone, even if they don’t decide to pursue a career in science or technology.

Robert Ping, education and outreach manager for UITS Research Technologies

Each camp will take place 9am-3pm at IU’s Cyberinfrastructure Building (CIB), 2709 E. 10th Street, in Bloomington.

The Research Technologies division of University Information Technology Services is offering the following robot camp sessions this year:

  • Beginner camp: June 8-9, no experience required
  • Beginner camp: June 29-30, no experience required
  • Advanced camp: July 13-14, computer programming or LEGO® Mindstorms® experience required

The camps finish with the Robot Grand Challenge, where campers can show off their newly learned programming skills. Campers’ parents, friends and the general public are invited to attend the Grand Challenge at 2pm in the CIB lobby on the second day of each camp.

Once the Grand Challenge is complete, UITS staff will lead tours of the IU Data Center, home to IU’s most prized networking, computer processing and data storage equipment, including the Big Red II supercomputer.

Even though there’s lots of learning going on at Ready, Set, Robots!, the focus is on fun—and future career skills.

“We’re thrilled that students are able to learn so much in a really short period of time,” said Robert Ping, education and outreach manager for UITS Research Technologies. “From computer programming terminology to public speaking and respect for equipment and the facilities, there is something for everyone, even if they don’t decide to pursue a career in science or technology.”

Watch the Ready, Set, Robots! promotional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWh9hWf0rBM

For more information and to register, visit: go.iu.edu/1Arg