A Behind-The-Scenes Look at FLATE’s Robotics Camps
FLATE’s outreach manager. Desh brought a fresh dimension by injecting her passion/knowledge for computers and robotics into this year’s camp/challenges. Bagley also developed a new format for the high school camp that was very well received by instructors, campers, and parents alike. “Coordinating the FLATE robotics camps is always a rewarding experience” said Bagley. “Seeing campers grasp new concepts and then apply those concepts to solve real-world problems is very satisfying for me.”
heads the Florida West Coast (FWC) BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) initiative at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) in Brandon. As part of this partnership with FLATE, Ken served as the instructor and content developer for one of the high school camp challenge that was focused on learning how to use Arduino Uno Microprocessors and building digital systems. To help with teaching the curriculum, Fiallos also brought volunteers from IEEE. Dr. Alessandro Anzalone, program manager and instructor for the engineering technology program at HCC-Brandon was also another key player. Dr. Anzalone, trained Bagley on the 3D printer software, and trained Mercedes Heredia, 2013 camp assistant on the chemical bath for support removal. Anzalone also helped set-up the 3D printers, and gave a presentation to high school students highlighting the two year A.S. degree in engineering technology currently offered at HCC and 14 state and community colleges across Florida.
standing relationship with FLATE as lead instructors. Dyer has been the instructor since the inception of the camps in 2006, while Heli has primarily served as the instructor for the All Girls robotics camp since 2010. “Technology affords teachers a more hands-off approach, and makes way for greater self-exploration and problem-based learning for students” says Dyer. Heli and Dyer both agree their engagement with the camp has given them a chance to exercise a more “advisory role” in guiding campers and sharpening their problem-solving skills.
Vilasmil’s expertise working with NAO humanoid robots gave him an edge in developing curriculum and challenges for three NAO-related lessons for the high school robotics camp. Vilasmil, a Ph.D. student at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa, was also involved in FLATE’s robotics open house in May 2013 where he gave a demonstrations of the NAO robot to students and parents. Vilasmil’s ivolvement with the camp not only benefitted students, but expanded his own understanding of NAO robots and configuring algorithms and timelines.
and state-wide businesses, industries and professional organizations are encouraged to take an active role in assisting FLATE in a variety of ways. To that end, FLATE has a compiled a list of resources and best practice guides for partners who wish to undertake outreach to students in their local/regional communities. You can access these resources at the Made in Florida website, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at firstname.lastname@example.org.