At summer camp, young scholars are taking advantage of expanded learning opportunities with robots.

Soft SkillsAt Hastings College Scholars Academy, over two dozen students spent a week building robots and having them fight with other robots. For 13 year old Connor Hasenauer and Cooper Applebee, this meant building the best sumo robot they could build.

“We were trying to make the other robots flip,” Cooper said. “Now we’re just trying to tape them to us.”

The one week immersion program for high ability and gifted seventh and eighth graders attracts students from all across the Midwest. There are four tracks, robotics, science, speech, and Spanish language immersion.

“I have a 3-D printer at my house and I’ve always wanted to build my own robot so I’m kind of getting a chance here at camp,” said Connor.

“It’s a very hands-on and fun environment to learn the basics of coding and robotics,” said Jordan Borrell, a 2013 Hastings College physics graduate who once built a robotic hand for his senior project.  He is now a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Kansas Medical Center. “It’s getting them excited for possible career or interest in the field.”

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