The St. Charles Parish Library summer reading program included two robotics mini-camps. During each camp, children ages 8-17 spent a week working in teams to build and program LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots. Brian Young, a Destrehan High School teacher and Wildcats Robotics Team coach, led the camps. The Wildcat Robotics Team is ranked in the top 5 percent of the world’s FIRST Robotics League teams, and students on the team worked as mentors to the campers.
“It’s so important to give kids the chance, at a young age, to learn about robotics and electronics,” Young said. “People use technology in almost every aspect of their lives, and it’s hard to find technology that isn’t dependent in some way on robotics. There will be a lot of jobs waiting in these fields for those who have the skills.”
Educational concepts emphasized during the camps included creativity, collaboration, logical thinking and problem solving.
“Learning robotics is a great way for kids with different personalities and learning styles to each play a role and have success working as a team,” said teen services librarian Amy Duke. “The kids who stuck with it, even when things got a little challenging, ended up gaining the most from the experience.”