ISTE20Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Digital Leadership
Summit at ISTE20 Live
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Cross-curricular Robotics Summer Camps

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Monday, June 24, 8:00–10:00 am
Location: Posters: Level 4, Terrace Ballroom Lobby, Table 3

Kayla Spencer   Dr. Jessica Gilpin   Tj Nguyen   Jennifer Spencer  
Summer camps are a great place for students to get fully immersed in robotics in a unique way. Learn about what it takes to host a summer robotics camps. Walk away with ideas on how to host the camps, logistics and actual lesson plans.

Audience: Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Project-, problem- and challenge-based learning
Grade level: 3-5
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
For Educators:
  • Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
Additional detail: Student presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of the session is to share our experiences with hosting summer robotics camps. Summer camps are a great place for students to get fully immersed in robotics in a unique way. Camps were designed around Dash and Dot, Ozobots, VEX IQ, Sphero's and Parrot drones. Hosting summer camps gives the teacher a way to get their feet wet with robotics and programming while engaging the students in holistic activities that link multiple subjects without the constraints of state standards. Attendees will walk away with ideas on how to host the camps, logistics of the camps, and actual lesson plans used.
Students attended a full day spring break camp and a half day summer camp. They were given small challenges to complete, which eventually led to the over all challenge and over arching theme throughout the week. For example, our half day summer camp focused on Rube Goldberg machines and robotics. Students learned what Rube Goldberg machines were, what simple machines were and worked on a challenge a day with simple machines. Students also were introduced to a robot a day with the focus on coding the robot to do what you tell it to do. The end-of-the-week goal was to have students make a Rube Goldberg machine that also had to use robots. Students were actively engaged all week and excited about coming to camp!
We hosted four week-long camps this past summer and will have to increase that to six weeks this next year due to the success of the program.

Supporting research

The poster session will present ways for educators, coaches, and technology coordinators to put robotics and STEM education in the hands of students in a non-traditional format.

All students need to have STEM education.

Using robotics in education leads to unexpected benefits.

Teaching robotics to elementary students leads to students being better equipped for jobs in the future.

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Kayla Spencer, Auburn High School
Dr. Jessica Gilpin, Auburn University

As a Postdoctoral Fellow in the College of Sciences and Mathematics Outreach Department at Auburn University (AU), Jessica is an integral part of planning and executing K-12 STEM outreach programs and teacher trainings. She received her B.S. in Biology from Fairfield University in 2012 and her Ph.D. in Marine Biology from AU in 2017. Before her postdoc she taught Organismal Biology for majors and a wide range of laboratory courses as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Biological Sciences. Jessica is also a certified scientific diver and Assistant Diving Instructor though Adventure Sports in Auburn, AL .

Tj Nguyen, SCORE
Jennifer Spencer, Auburn University

Jennifer Spencer is the Program Administrator III of K-6 STEM Outreach Programs for the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) at Auburn University. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Science in Elementary Education both from Auburn University. She has 20 years of teaching experience in public and private schools where she also coached Science Olympiad and Robotics teams. Jennifer loves to read and spend time with her family when she is not working. She also loves all kinds of technology and is always searching and learning about the newest and greatest techie toys.

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