- Franklinton Middle School
Robotics Summer Camps help students learn STEAM skills
by Curtis Hayes, Director of Communications
As the first of five weeks of Robotics Summer Camps wraps up, the program’s lead mentor is excited about the future of the program.
Pamela Diez has been volunteering with Franklin County Schools (FCS) Robotics Program for the past three years. The FranklinBots’ program started five years ago with Team Hydra. Since then, it has expanded to include four additional teams: Rockin’Robots, FalconBots, RoboRams and RoboWarriors, which are each based at different schools throughout the FCS district.
This year the FranklinBots’ summer camps have garnered 65 campers for five sessions of four-days each. During the camps, each student has the opportunity to work with a high school or adult mentor to design, plan, build and program their own robot.
“There is a lot of interest in robotics throughout this county,” Diez said.
For the first time this year, Team Hydra, which includes 25 high school students, made it to the state competition with the team robot Milli Falco. They hope to advance to the national and international levels in future years.
“We competed successfully,” Diez said. “We were consistently in the top eight out of 71 teams across the state during the season.”
During the summer camps, many of the members of Team Hydra volunteer their time to work with younger students.
“The point is to share their love and passion of this team to other kids,” Diez said.
Leighton, is a rising 10th grader and program volunteer. She has been involved with the program for three years.
“I started out doing Lego robots,” she said. “I found this is way cooler, so I did this instead. These are way bigger, made out of metal and the competitions are different.”
Leighton said she enjoys teaching the younger kids how to do robotics because they represent the future. Speaking of the future, the Robotics Summer Camps serve as a fundraiser for the high school team, as well as the other teams in the county.
“We’re hoping to launch more teams at different schools in the county with younger children,” Diez said.
She said the budget for robotics at FCS always needs funding opportunities.
“We raise nearly all of it ourselves through grants, fundraisers and sponsorships within the community,” she said.
To participate in a future camp, learn about joining a team or sponsorship opportunities, please contact:
Pamela Diez, firstname.lastname@example.org;
919-986-2297; or, Melissa Simar, email@example.com, 919-729-1059.