It was the ideal parent-child date. Unique, no whining. Learning something new, together.
Never in my years of parenting did I imagine I’d be programming a robot with my 5 year old son. My mom brain excels when planning dinners and bike rides, and while researching sunscreen and berry picking locales; but Lego Mindstorm, the program we used to build the robot, is new territory. That’s when Eugene Sudbury School’s science teacher Hannah Felton assured us, “Mistakes are going to happen. They’re GOOD. That’s how we learn.”
Any anxiety melted into gratitude for this challenge to bond over engineering adversity with my eldest child. He and I were recently invited to Sudbury Saturday, a 3 ½ hour engineering experience designed for children 4-7 years old at Eugene Sudbury School.
For the kids, it’s a chance to build super cool Lego figures and click around on a computer program. My son was eager to teach his robot puppy how to sit and use the potty. He literally squealed as the puppy robot obeyed his commands. Little did he know, he is exemplifying what Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) schools (like Eugene Sudbury) are all about. Learning is collaborative and project-based; kids work closely together in a hands-on way to solve real-world problems. Colton, Sudbury’s math teacher, says, “Sudbury students learn to become confident, independent, resourceful, adaptable, persistent, and responsible. With these traits, our students are successful in whatever path they choose.”
Eugene Sudbury School draws students from all over Eugene and neighboring cities. The school believes “the drive to learn is innate within all human beings. At Sudbury, students from kindergarten through high school have the freedom to pursue their interests and explore academics at their own pace.”
When school is not in session, they want to utilize their building well. So the Sudbury teaching staff offers their heart, skill and talent to the community in the way of camps throughout the summer.
For the remainder of 2015, they are offering:
August 1, 10:30AM – 1PM for 4-7 year olds.
Designed for our youngest STEAM enthusiasts! Kids work with an adult to build and program robots. The programming is easy and color coded – adults need no prior experience with coding or computers! Tickets are $50, each ticket is for 1 parent and 1 child.
Ages 9-13, Currently in session (3 weeks)
i(<3)Robot is Eugene Sudbury's all girls Robotics Camp. Girls get to practice their engineering, math, physics, and programming skills by building robots and successfully programming them to complete objectives. i(<3)Robots is a 3 week long course intended for those with beginner to intermediate experience with ev3 robotics. This course is open to anyone who identifies as a girl in a way that is significant to them.
August 3 - 7 at 11am – 2pm for 6-8 year olds, August 3 - 7 at 1 – 5pm for 9-13 years old
August 10 - 28 from 1 - 5PM for 9-13 year olds
Sudbury’s Lego Mindstorms camps are designed to teach your child engineering and technology skills through fun and engaging projects. Your child will receive supportive, teacher-led instruction followed by hands-on learning experiences. Campers gain programming and problem solving skills through critical thinking, creating, and exploring.
August 3 -7 from 10am – 2PM for 9-13 year olds
Our weeklong class is designed to encourage artistic expression, art appreciation, understanding, and imagination. Campers get experience in felting, wool dying, drawing, painting, sewing etc.
Camps are no small fee for a family. And rightly so, as campers are supervised by professionals and specialists (Sudbury is bringing in one of HP’s lead software developers for the i(<3)Robot Camp) and are provided many specific materials and resources.
Be creative and ask extended family members to chip in and gift your child with experiences like this for their birthday!
Click here for more information on Sudbury Summer Camps!