“Robots & God” Workshops Coming to Teach Them Diligently
Did you know that Camp Infinity is not “just” a summer camp? We keep busy all year, crisscrossing the country and giving our “Robots & God” workshops. And this year we’re excited to be partnering with the homeschool conference, Teach Them Diligently, to do twenty-six of these inspiring workshops for juniors and teens.
Having taught computer science to college students for 30 years, I have a strong passion to take my knowledge and experience of this rapidly growing and strongly needed discipline to teach young people a proper view of technology. At Camp Infinity we call this our “Theology of Technology.” We just got back from wrapping up several days of workshops in Jacksonville, FL and wanted to share with you some of the details of how we use these workshops to challenge and inspire young people to love God and STEM.
- Start at the beginning. We always start with my talk on the “Theology of Technology” to help our campers understand a) what technology is b) why we have technology and c) how we glorify God through technology.
- Who made what? Then we make two lists: 1) things directly created by God, according to Genesis 1 and 2 and 2) things made by man. I intentionally use the words "made" for man's things and "created" for God's things.
- Gospel-centered. I then ask them “what's in this room that God created?” While a few might say "light waves,” most will think for a minute and then yell, "people!" Bingo! I then tell them, “You are God's crowning creation. He made you in HIS image. Nothing else in all of His creation does He say that about; not animals, not plants, not even the planet Earth - you are very, very special! And this is why God sent His Son Jesus to die in our place.” It’s a perfect opportunity to review the gospel message.
- Subdue the Earth. Then we jump into technology and, specifically, robots. We discuss how we can use technology and robots to "subdue," (bring under control or rule over) the Earth. I find the kids like seeing technology presented from a biblical worldview.
- Technology—it’s neutral! I want young people to realize technology is neutral—it’s not good or bad. It’s how and why it’s used that determines morality. We look at positive and negative uses of technology in the Bible; clothing and the Ark were great uses of technology, the Tower of Babel wasn’t.
- It’s all in the details. Next is a short skit where one camper plays the role of the robot and another is the programmer. They get a kick out of it and learn an important lesson—there’s a huge level of detail needed to program a machine to solve a problem.
- Hands-on programming. The bulk of the workshop is hands-on learning as they build and program a robot in teams of 2-4. Teamwork is a very important aspect of teaching STEM. As they work together, their personalities are exposed and they see how important it is to respect others and learn how to communicate. It takes everyone to get the job done.
- Time to show off a little. At the end of the workshop our excited campers give demonstrations to their parents and pose for pictures and videos. Our goal is to work hard and do our best to make sure every team has something positive to show off to their parents. At a recent workshop, a very smart, engaged camper decided, at the last minute, to totally redesign his robot. As a result, he had nothing to show his dear mother. As I saw him crying off in the corner, I jumped in we worked together to get it working. This put a smile on his face and his mother seemed very appreciative of my last-minute efforts. I like the verse in Proverbs which says, "a goal accomplished is sweet to the soul" (Proverbs 13:19) and we strive to make this happen the best we can with each camper.
This spring we are proud to partner with Teach Them Diligently at six locations across the US to give these “Robots & God” workshops to hundreds of kids.
Through our partnership with TTD, we are excited to offer a discount code for $8 off registration for your family. Simply use the code CAMPINFINITY when you register. And, once you’re registered, be sure to sign up your juniors (grades 3-6) and teens (grades 7-12) for our “Robots & God” workshop. Workshops are filling up quickly, so DO NOT DELAY in signing up for these faith-building, hands-on workshops. We hope to see you there! To register go to https://teachthemdiligently.net/
Bring “Robots & God” to your group by requesting an event at CampInfinity.com/camps.