News & Events

Concordia-Chicago to offer free Youth Robotics Camp

5/6/2016

Youth Robotics CampConcordia University Chicago’s (CUC) computer science department is again offering a free Robotics Camp this summer in partnership with Youth Services, Oak Park and River Forest Townships. The camp will take place August 8 through 12, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and is open to middle and high school students (ages 11-17) residing in either village.

The introductory-level robotics camp will be led by Dr. Victor Govindaswamy, associate professor of computer science at CUC, along with undergraduate computer science students serving as mentors. Govindaswamy has developed similar successful camps at Texas A&M University-Texarkana and the University of Texas at Arlington.

Now in its second year, the camp has received resounding praise. “My son loved it. It made his summer and he will never forget it,” said the parent of a 2015 camp attendee. “He loved meeting new friends and all the camp staff. He would come home so excited about what he learned.”

“My daughter couldn’t wait to go to camp in the morning, and when I went to pick her up, she didn’t want to leave,” said another parent. “Dr. Govindaswamy is a passionate, energetic and thoughtful teacher. He is confident in kids’ abilities and supports them so that they believe in themselves.”

Participants will assemble, program and debug LEGO Mindstorms EV3 and NTX robotics kits by learning the necessary mathematics skills to enable the basic concepts behind their designs. Students also have the opportunity to hear from and interact with successful role models in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, including CUC alumni.

Youth Services, Oak Park and River Forest Townships provided a $7,726 grant, and an additional $1,000 was received from The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. As a result of the generous support, the camp is being offered free of charge. Socioeconomically at-risk students will be given preference. Attendance is limited to 20 total students.

Goals include enhancing interest in STEM-related careers, development of students’ analytical skills and ultimately preparing attendees for college-level work. The camp culminates in a series of unique robotic competitions including tug-of-war, sumo wrestling and drag racing.

An application is required to attend and can be downloaded from CUChicago.edu/YouthRobotics. The application deadline is July 1. For additional information, contact Dr. Govindaswamy at Victor.Govindaswamy@CUChicago.edu.