Robotics team exposes kids to robot programming and problem solving

Inside an engineering classroom at the West Ada School District’s Mountain View High School, a group of 17 kids rifle through a large box full of Legos and assemble them to create a Lego sumo-bot — a robot that looks like a car.

“I’m learning that anything is possible when building with Legos,” said Jaron Meldrum, an seventh-grader at Lewis and Clark Middle School. “I can’t wait to be an engineer when I’m older.”

These kids are part of a Lego Robotics Summer Camp hosted by The Bullbots — a FIRST Robotics Competition team based in Meridian. The high school students introduce the fourth- through seventh-graders to robotics and what it takes to build and program a robot.

“These kids aren’t learning about the detail of robotics in the classroom,” said Brennen Coulson, a Mountain View junior. “As a team we want to encourage kids to take engineering classes as they get into high school.”

The camp was created to expose kids to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in hopes of sparking an interest in engineering. The teens mentor the kids by doing hands-on projects in programming and problem-solving while accomplishing challenges.

“The best part is watching the kids work in teams and brainstorm ideas to create a robot,” said Tiffany Jensen, a Mountain View junior. “Having the skills of teamwork and communication is important if these kids eventually join a robotics team.”

The week-long camp is a fundraiser for The Bullbots to support their 2018 robotics competition season. The team is hosting two other camps: June 19-23 and July 24-28.

Click here to learn more about registering.