You can encourage your young person in their interest in computer programming through robotics programming (also known as coding). This is a valuable skill that teaches problem solving. Young people are presented with a problem, something that needs to be automated or interface where information is needed, or perhaps apps that need to talk to one another. They have a computer that knows certain commands or instructions such as, in the case of robotics, move forward, turn left, turn right, or read sensor. They then create a sequence of instructions to solve the problem using the commands—this is the challenging part.
Budding young software programmers need to learn the commands and understand what they do, and then learn how to sequence those commands to solve problems. This very valuable skill is a creative activity, much like writing, painting, or music composition, that requires imagination and innovation.
Because the solution rarely works right in all situations the first time, they must also learn how to “debug.” This involves identifying errors in the software and figuring out how to correct those errors. In my experience teaching computer science, it’s the debugging that pushes some students away from this incredibly valuable activity. But students shouldn’t be afraid of debugging—it’s a great way to put creativity and problem solving skills to work!
Well, one way that students can learn about computer programming and debugging in a fun way is at Camp Infinity. Ci teaches students how to program robots in a team environment. We have a very low camper-to-robot ratio which maximizes each student’s exposure to robots while maintaining one of the most important aspects of STEM—teamwork.
Exposing kids to computer and robotics programming from a young age encourages them to enjoy the activity. It also grows teamwork, creativity, and problem solving, all excellent skills in whatever field they decide to pursue. During Ci camps or at our conventions we find that even fairly young children love playing with robots. Consider signing your budding programmer up for a camp this summer. To learn more about applying to Camp Infinity visit https://campinfinity.com/camps/.