Kids in the Gahanna Parks and Rec summer camp programs were recently challenged to think, design, and solve unique puzzles using emerging technology at the first Local Tech Heroes Summer Program! 100 kids, aged 5-12, were able to learn and utilize the latest in virtual reality, 3d printing, drones, robotics, and coding in order to figure out the challenges presented to them in the Imagine it, Hack it! program.
Over the course of two days, the students from Gahanna visited Local Tech Heroes at the Idea Foundry in Columbus to experience the latest in technology education as part of their Summer camp program to ‘Seek the Wonder.’ The students were grouped and challenged over the course of the day to use various technologies to solve unique problems. By combining critical thinking skills, emerging technologies, and a healthy dose of creativity and imagination, we saw students realizing their newfound potential in many ways!
Instead of just exposing the students to technology and letting them ‘play,’ cofounder Will Nickley devised an incredible custom curriculum for the day that made sure each student was challenged to seek the answer through critical thinking and experimentation with new technology. The event was structured in such a way that as students completed certain activities, they were given clues that ultimately helped them decode and hack open the various locked boxes containing new technology tools and treats for the afternoon.
For example, in the virtual reality challenge, students were asked to imagine what a functioning Mars colony would require and then tasked to build that colony in VR to support the theoretical astronauts living there. Students were able to experience the sensation of building in a virtual world and learn the skills associated with navigating and creating in a completely new way.
When students were working on the robotics challenges, they were asked to help write custom code that the robots used to navigate through obstacles in a situation not far from how autonomous vehicles will someday work. To celebrate their hard work, they even coded each robot to perform a dance-off competition including high jumps and dizzying spins much to the delight of the crowd!
The kids were also able to use the 3D printer to create and design custom wearables to learn how the technology can change the way we manufacture items and solve problems. With each challenge and lesson, students were able to view the technologies in a different light, understanding that they are tools to solve problems, so they were able to utilize these tools in very creative ways and understand how important technology is to our lives and how to learn and harness its potential.
Overall, the program was a big success and we had a fantastic time working with the Gahanna Parks and Rec organization! The students were outstanding and created many imaginative solutions to the problems we presented them, and we couldn’t have been happier with their excitement and ingenuity. We’re already looking forward to next time we get to work with them!
If this program, or a similar set of challenges and lessons sounds like something you would like to present to your school or organization, contact us today to consult about how we can help create custom tech ed curriculum for you!