About the Robotics Camps
Literacy through LEGO®s (recommended for 4-6 year-olds):
This camp utilizes non-robotic LEGO® kits that help 4, 5, and 6 year-old children build spatial, gross and fine motor, comprehension and creative skills. Children’s literature will be read and students will work together, using LEGO®s to recreate components from the stories. This camp helps prepare children for the skills needed in WeDo robotics.
Beginner & Advanced WeDo Camps (recommended for upcoming 1-3 graders):
The LEGO® WeDo robotics system is designed for younger children, typically including upcoming first graders. Some upcoming kindergarteners can do well in these camps if they are more mature and able to listen to directions well. A special building set includes regular LEGO® pieces as well as specialized items, such as a motor, light and motion sensors, gears, and pulleys. With a USB interface, the motor and sensors can be connected to a computer. The LEGO® WeDo software allows campers to develop a program to control the motor as well as respond to the sensors. This is an example of what is called a tethered robotic system, where the robotic model is always connected to the computer by the USB cable. The campers build and program many exciting models with this system, such as the drumming monkey shown here.
The Advanced WeDo camp utilizes the same technology as the regular WeDo camp, but it is designed for children who have attended the WeDo camp before. Even if your child is advanced and/or has played with LEGOs® extensively, they do not need to attend the advanced camp without attending the regular WeDo camp first. Students will use skills from the first camp, which deal with robotics, as well as LEGO® design, to construct much more difficult and time-consuming models.
Beginner & Advanced NXT Robotics Camps (recommended for upcoming 4-8 graders):
This camp is intended for children who are upcoming fourth graders or above. The LEGO® NXT is a robotics system with an intelligent brick that has its own central processing
unit (CPU), memory, power supply, display panel, and speaker. It also includes connections
for three output devices (such as interactive servo motors) and four input devices
(such as sensors for touch, light, sound, and motion). It has a series of "studs"
that connect to LEGO® building elements, allowing the construction of a robot models. Control programs
can be composed with special software and downloaded to the NXT. The robot model can
then operate independently of the computer. (To be eligible for the Advanced NXT Camp
the students will need to have attended
EV3 Robotics Camp (recommended for upcoming 6-12 graders):
This camp utilizes the EV3 LEGO® Robotics kits. It is designed for children who have attended the NXT camp at least
2 times before and grasped all of the components,
Minecraft (upcoming 1-5 graders) & (upcoming 6-12 graders):
The long-standing game of Minecraft will be used in an educational setting to reinforce math, science, and social studies skills. Working as teams to complete various tasks, students will learn the mechanics of Minecraft components, forage for food, gather materials, and design concepts in a virtual world to create a community where they will survive against all that nature has to offer, including zombies, skeletons, and other creatures lurking in the night.
History of Lego Robotics Camps at Murray State University
Murray State University's College of Education and Human Services Robotics Camps were
established in 1998 by Dr. Tom Lough. From inception, the week-long day camps were
for students incoming in grades 4-8. These camps used the LEGO® RCX "programmable
brick" for its robotic activities. The camps then switched to the LEGO® NXT "intelligent
brick" as the basis for the robotic projects. This sophisticated system emphasizes
the programming aspects of robotics and offers a wide variety of engineering and modeling
In 2010, a NEW level of robotics camp was established. For the first time, camps were offered for rising first, second, and third graders! This camp used the new LEGO® WeDo robotics system that offered many exciting activities and robotic models. Also in 2010, a special afternoon advanced session was offered for rising ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade students that was quite successful. In 2011, Dr. Brandi King became the director of the camps and expanded camp options to include Advanced WeDo camps for younger students, as well as Minecraft and programming classes for older students. A new Literacy through Legos program was also added to open up opportunities for younger children who are not quite ready to take on the challenges of robots, by allowing them to use their imagination in storytelling through Legos. In 2016, the College of Education and Human Services' Robotics Camp legacy will be continued by the Kentucky Academy of Technology Education (KATE), with Dwayne Buchanan acting as Camp Director. Dwayne and KATE will continue to develop new camps, while expanding existing camps, in order to reach even more students.