Learning with LEGOS: ‘Discovery College’ Features LEGO, Robotics Class

Published on: May 13, 2011




A group of “future engineers” test out some of their very own LEGO robotic creations during Discovery College, a fun and exciting summer enrichment program for youth at Lone Star College-Montgomery.Let those small, colorful LEGO® pieces build your child’s future during Lone Star College-Montgomery’s Discovery College, a fun and exciting summer enrichment program for youth ages 7-16. The hot class this summer is LEGO® Engineering, which offers a whole new take on those square blocks.
 
“The LEGO® courses, as well as the robotics courses, meet the rising national standard of learning by combining science, technology, engineering, and math into one fun learning environment,” said Donna Smith Burns, program coordinator for Discovery College. “It’s amazing what students will learn in our hands-on camp.”
 
Discovery College, which begins Monday, June 6, is an affordable, educational youth camp that covers a range of interesting topics in one- or two-week class sessions. The courses run throughout the summer on Monday through Thursday, from 1-5 p.m., at the LSC-Montgomery campus.
 
During the LEGO® classes, students will experiment with gears, pulleys, structural systems, generators, motors, and, depending on the age-range, solar panels, through both hands-on activities and computer software.
 
“Basically, they’ll be introduced to engineering in a fun way,” said Robert Schave, a local electrical engineer who will teach the LEGO® sessions. “Students will learn how to do calculations, run experiments to check their work, and understand basic robotics. The things that they’ll learn in this camp they’ll be able to use at home and in school.”
 
After seeing a budding passion for robotics and LEGO® engineering in his son, Schave took on the challenge to see robotics become an extracurricular activity at local schools. In just a few short years, he has started several robotics programs within Conroe Independent School District and has seen two of those rookie teams qualify for the First Lego League (FLL) Lone Star Championship.
 
This summer, Schave will be teaching two different classes: “Introduction to LEGO® Engineering and Beginning Robotics” (for youth ages 10-14), which runs July 25-28, and “Explorations in Engineering: LEGO® Energy and Engineering” (for youth ages 10-14), which runs June 13-16. The cost for each class is just $89 plus a small supply fee.
 
“Really, the sky’s the limit with what students can accomplish through this summer camp,” said Schave, who also holds a U.S. patent in electrical engineering.
 
Building on the LEGO® challenges, young engineers also have the opportunity to participate in RoboCamp, where students simulate real life robotics and robotics systems. The RoboCamp sessions are led by Kay Shakespeare, owner of Computer Explorers, a company dedicated to providing cutting-edge technology education to students.
 
“It’s important to prepare students for success in a technology-centric society,” said Shakespeare. “Our students should interact with robotics, engineering, programming, video game design, animation and other cutting-edge technology tools to meet challenges, solve problems, and have fun.”
 
Shakespeare will be teaching two RoboCamp sessions. “RoboCamp: Space Mission Adventure” is a deep-space-themed introduction to robotic challenges. The two-week class, which is for ages 9-12, runs July 11-21. The cost is $247.
 
The advanced RoboCamp course, “Body Forward,” is a two-week session geared for students ages 12-14. It runs July 25-August 4, and the cost is $247. The session will build on students’ previous experience with LEGO® engineering and robotics while exploring the cutting-edge world of biomedical engineering.
 
“Students will actually discover innovative ways to repair injuries, overcome genetic predispositions, and maximize the body's potential—all through robotics,” said Shakespeare.
 
Some of the other fun and educational sessions at Discovery College this summer include “Bubbly Oozy Science,” “Gardening & Nature,” “Around the World Explorations,” “Yoga,” and another technology-driven course: “Video 101,” which focuses on the techniques of video editing, production, and stop motion animation. Tuition and dates for each class vary.
 
Now is the time register for any of the sessions. Parents may register their child in person at the LSC-Montgomery campus, Mondays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., in the Continuing Education office (Building E, Room 205).
 
For more information and a complete list of Discovery College sessions, visit www.LoneStar.edu/youthprogram-montgomery or call 936.273.7446.
 
LSC-Montgomery is located at 3200 College Park Drive, one-half mile west of Interstate 45, between Conroe and The Woodlands. For more information about the college, call 936.273.7000, or visit www.LoneStar.edu/montgomery.
 
With more than 69,000 students in credit classes for fall 2010, and a total enrollment of more than 85,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area, and the fastest-growing community college system in Texas. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Park, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.