Our last STEM camp of the summer has a strong focus on Geometry and Competitive Robotics with the excitement for each child of building their own model vehicle or robot to compete in contests at the end of the week.
Geometry is one of the most fascinating areas of mathematics. Natural mathematicians appreciate its logic, while the pictorial nature of the subject can draw reluctant pupils into the world of understanding spatial relationships, calculations and proofs.
The aim of this camp is to deepen children's knowledge and understanding of geometry by engaging with rich geometrical tasks. Children will not only grapple with geometrical concepts and further their own understanding, but they will also have opportunities to refine their problem-solving skills.
In this camp Robotics brings together the study of engineering, design, programming, physics and more. Campers aged 8 to 10 will build an electronic hovercraft to take home, as well as learning about robotics and racing robot model cars. Pupils aged 11 and over will build their own self-driving robot model car and programme it to find its own way through a maze - see more details below.
Our pupil to teacher ratio is always 6 to 1 with participants taught in small classes based on their age and experience in each subject.
In Robotics and Programming, children will work on different projects by age group:
The Land Hovercraft Project for Ages 8 to 10
Children will see STEM in action as Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths come together in their project to build a model Land Hovercraft powered by fans.
The concept of using a propeller to displace air and move a vehicle goes back 170 years to the early airships. Hovercraft seem modern but have been with us for nearly 70 years.
Each child will construct their own model Land Hovercraft from laser cut components before attaching two top mounted directional fans driven by motors powered by on board batteries. The fans can be controlled individually through a remote control and PCB board so the hovercraft can be made to go in different directions.
Children will learn about electronics, current and resistance and the dynamics of air and using air as a source of energy.
Once completed, pupils can take home their model to demonstrate what they have learned and achieved. Please note that this model hovercraft is designed for use on dry, hard surfaces and must never be placed in water.
Building a Robot Car and ‘Racing the Maze’ Competition for Ages 11 and over
Older campers will be building their own robot, a self-driving model car.
The project involves building a robotic car capable of finding its own way through a maze using two on board Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensors. The sensors feed information into the car’s ‘brain’, an ESP32 microcontroller. Campers will be programming this chip as well as constructing the car from its other components including motors, wheels and its ToF sensors.
The project divides into two main parts: hardware and software:
hardware: students will assemble the robotic car, including attaching the motors and wheels, connecting the sensors, and wiring up the microcontroller. They will learn about basic electronics concepts, such as voltage, current, resistance, and how to read a circuit diagram
software: students will learn to write the code that controls the car's movements and maze-solving abilities. They will use the Arduino C programming language, and learn about programming concepts such as loops, conditionals, and functions
to solve the maze, the car will use its two ToF sensors to detect the walls of the maze and determine the best path to take. The code will use the sensor data to make decisions about which direction to turn and how far to travel
At the end of the project, pupils will have built a functioning robotic car that can navigate a maze by itself - a micro version of what an autonomous driving car should be capable of. Campers will have gained hands-on experience with electronics and programming, as well as problem-solving and critical thinking skills. This is a take-home project and pupils can use it as part of their skills portfolio right up to university application level.
In Maths, although a degree of spatial thinking develops naturally in children, deliberate exposure, hands-on experience and formal instruction are needed to move children through several levels of geometric understanding.
Geometry provides a convenient environment for the introduction of the deductive method of developing mathematical ideas, starting from the axioms and gradually obtaining more new statements. Although the deductive process is an essential part of mathematics, pupils often find its’ formal side difficult and question its’ necessity.
The problems we will offer in this week’s camp aim to help campers to appreciate the structure and the beauty of geometry as well as the importance of proof.
While older children will get familiar with the rigorous world of geometric constructions and proofs, younger campers will meet a variety of important geometric concepts in a less formal context which will help them to build a solid foundation for understanding the subject rather than having to memorise geometric facts and 'rules' by rote.
Participants can also join an optional 9am Maths Problem Solving class where children will tackle different levels of UKMT challenges from the Primary Maths Challenge and International Kangaroo up to more senior levels looking at Senior UKMT challenges.
Here are more details of what will be studied by each Year group during the camp:
Pupils will work on tasks about shapes and their properties. They will find the area and perimeter of shapes ranging from very simple to complex cases, explore different types of symmetry, learn to work on square and isometric grids and create tessellations using regular and irregular polygons.
Apart from a fresh look at the concepts of distance, angles, symmetry, perimeter and area, pupils will work with a ruler and compass to construct geometric shapes and to discover their numerous properties as well as learning about loci created in the process of various constructions.
The focus of this week will be on geometric proofs where we will use the congruence of triangles to derive numerous interesting properties of polygons. Pupils will get familiar with the logic of proofs and learn about direct and converse statements in the context of geometrical objects. We will also study the use of the ruler and compass and Euclidean constructions.
Pupils will tackle a series of problems from all areas of geometry with the focus on specific methods for solving them. They will learn to apply properties of similar shapes to prove both well-known and less-familiar theorems. Considering areas and their relationships provides another useful approach that pupils will practice to find unknown lengths and ratios in geometrical settings. We will also study the use of the ruler and compass and Euclidean constructions as well as Sangaku - Japanese Temple Geometry.
In Programming, whether your child is already a confident coder or just starting out, we will create the most appropriate small study group for them, based on their age and experience.
Format and fees for the senior face to face camp:
- pupil to teacher ratio of 6:1
- participants are taught in small groups, tailored by similarity of age and ability, in individual classrooms
- camp times: 10am to 3pm
- or from 9am for an extra hour of problem solving and/or from 3pm to 4pm with our chess class. There is a supplement of £25 for each additional session booked
- fees are £595 for five days. It is not possible to join for a shorter period
Places are limited, please register your interest HERE.