LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A science summer camp that keeps the focus on fun for aspiring engineers, who are escaping the heat, and beating the summer brain drain, at a local learning facility called “Engineering For Kids.”
This is project-based STEM learning, but it is summer the emphasis is on kids having a good time!
Owner Leo Silva outlined one of his goals for the student experience, “I want them to see that STEM it’s fun! The science and math – it’s not a monster that sometimes people think about it, and for them, to see real life application of math.”
It’s working, highlighted here by the words of student, Leah Hernandez, “I love it here! It’s good for engineering, programming, doing robots, playing games it’s a little bit of all of it.”
Hernandez is right – students are studying and learning in a number of areas – including robotics, video game design, coding, 3D printing, minecraft moding, App development, and on the day we visited – a competitive soccer game played with robots!
The kids built these robots. They use a smart radio to transmit what they want their robot Ronaldo or Beckham to do. Math makes all the difference on the coding and the building, trial and error never stops.
Even with goals being consistently scored by the robots in play, it’s really not about the result, but rather the steps students go through to find the answer.
“When you fail that’s okay,” said Silva, “Go through the engineering and design process, make improvements, rebuild, and develop critical thinking.”
Students also work with large drones that can quickly be transformed between hovercraft and aviation mode, using a custom controller to navigate programmed flight contests or a student-designed obstacle course.
Each week is a new camp, for kids four through 14. Silva, who owns the camp with his wife Elise, sums up what a positive experience this can be, “A kid wasn’t too crazy about it halfway through it you just see a click! From I don’t want to do this to I can’t get enough and being able to enjoy engineering. So, moments like that make everything worth it.”