Building blocks of success


By Melanie Yingst - [email protected]



From left, Brock Thiesing, 11, Owen Master, 10, and Carter Robbins, 11, watch as their LEGO robot performs on a playing field at WACO Historical Society’s annual robotics camp. More than 18 students ages 10-13 attended the camp last week.


TROY — Cheers, groans and the sound of plastic blocks clicking together were the sights and sounds of the annual WACO Historical Society’s Learning Center’s LEGO robotics camp last week.

More than 18 students ages 10-13, learned how to build, program, and power an EV3 Mindstorm LEGO robot in just five days.

“This is the first time I’ve been to camp. I came because I like LEGOs,” said Owen Masters, 10, of Covington.

Masters’ team included Brock Thiesing, 11, of Covington, and Carter Robbins, 11, of Troy. The team designed their EV3 robot to pick up a plastic ring and knock over three balls placed on a LEGO field.

“I love robotics,” Thiesing said. “I’ve never done programming before so I wanted to try it out.”

Using a simple programming application, students learned how to power the motors on the robot to “drive” it around the table to achieve points during a mock competition on Friday.

Zane Harris, 10, and Alexander Jones, both 10, of Troy, worked on their robot to achieve the goals on the table.

“I’ve done this camp many times because it’s fun,” Jones said. “I learned that when you make a mistake you have to fix it very quickly.”

Harris said he signed up for camp to learn more about programming an EV3 “brain.”

“I just wanted to learn more about it. It was a good time,” Harris said.

Cousins Sarah Castaneda and Rebecca Byrnes, both 11, teamed up for their robot’s work.

“I like when we have time to work and design the robot,” Casteneda said. “I like working with the programming part, too.”

Byrnes, from Boston, was visiting Castendea this summer and joined in on the fun at WACO Historical Society’s camp.

“I hate when it works really good one time and the next, it doesn’t — for no reason,” Byrnes said. “It takes a lot of effort to make it work.”

Aidan Leonard, 11, said it was the first time for him to attend the camp.

“I like LEGO and robots so I thought this would be fun,” Leonard said. “Building it was my favorite. I like building LEGOs and I like how it wasn’t the typical LEGO set out of the box. It was a new experience for me. It was cool.”

The campers also were treated to a demonstration of the learning center’s FTC team’s winning robot, which claimed 17th in the world competition event last year.

Trent Church, 17, was one of 13 team members who helped program and design the sophisticated robot. Church was an assistant at both LEGO robotics campS this summer.

The following volunteers assisted at both camps at WACO Historical Society this summer: Blair Jackson, Steve Campbell, Ramesh Kurup, Matt Jackson, Amelia Campbell, Arjun Kurup, Wade Campbell, Blair Jackson, Dave Barth,Tony Royer, John Staggenborg, Tony Castenada, Phil Detweiler, and Trent Church.

For more information, visit www.wacoairmuseum.org.

From left, Brock Thiesing, 11, Owen Master, 10, and Carter Robbins, 11, watch as their LEGO robot performs on a playing field at WACO Historical Society’s annual robotics camp. More than 18 students ages 10-13 attended the camp last week.
http://tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_WacoLegoCamp.jpgFrom left, Brock Thiesing, 11, Owen Master, 10, and Carter Robbins, 11, watch as their LEGO robot performs on a playing field at WACO Historical Society’s annual robotics camp. More than 18 students ages 10-13 attended the camp last week.

By Melanie Yingst

[email protected]

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