What kid doesn’t love to play with LEGOs? They’re easy to use, colorful and you can build just about anything with them. But what if playing with LEGOs was more than a fun way to spend the afternoon? What if kids could learn something too?
Discovery World in Milwaukee has a summer camp that lets kids do just that. The week-long camp uses LEGO robots to teach kids engineering skills.
The kids build and program a robot to accomplish a task on a simulation board. The board is a mini replica of a city that has faced a number of natural disasters and is littered with structures and obstacles. The kids have to use their robots to do various tasks around the city like pour water, move objects out of harms way and lift buildings.
The kids test their programming chops by putting their robot on the board and seeing if it completes the task. If not, it’s back to the computer for adjustments and then back to the board to test again. Once the task is complete, another disaster awaits.
“These kids are doing all kinds of really crazy problem solving and they’re weaving together science and math concepts and pulling together team building skills,” said Teacher Andy Wallus.
While the kids have fun building and get excited about a completed task, they are also getting something much more out of the game.
“The Beauty of this robotics workshop is that these little LEGO robots call on skills that are central to engineering,” said Wallus.
For more information on the Discovery World summer programs visit their website here. And to hear Dori Zori’s interview with Andy and the class click the player above.