XPlorer's Lego Robotics Camp
Supervisors: Santiago Cabetas, Julio Ruiz Montero
During the summer of 2018 I worked at a summer camp in Toledo, Spain teaching both English and Robotics to child from the Castile-La Mancha region. I spent about half of my day in English, and the other half in Spanish. Throughout the course of the camp, we were expected to stay overnight with the kids who stayed at the camp for the summer. That is primarily where I did most of my own learning about the Spanish language and culture. I got to connect with my coworkers, hear about the way they live, hear about their government and their sentiments towards it, hear where they want to go, see the way they interact with kids, and see the way kids interact with each other, and I was fortunate enough to do all of this in their own language. It was all such a culture shock, but I felt accepted, and from this acceptance I was able to create bonds that last to this day as well as an unending understanding of another culture.
During the day, I got to take my group of kids, typically the little ones (3-6 years old!), to their different classes be it Robotics, Mathematics (KUMON), Swimming, Physical Education, or English. While my group was in class, I would hop to and from the English classroom and the Robotics classroom, engaging the kids in English as I passed between rooms. In the robotics room I was able to offer my knowledge of computer science, and the kids were able to make use of it to make their own Lego Robotix. More often than not, we got to play a fun language game of “how do you say this? Do you even know what I’m saying?” as I struggled with the different technical terms. I never thought I’d need to know how to say “gear” in Spanish! I think this “game” was the best part of the day, as we all came together through language to work towards creating the little robot of these children’s dreams. As the camp went on, I began to realize that this communication was the true purpose of the camp, not just learning English and Robotics. The camp was there to teach these kids how to break barriers, even linguistic barriers, to help create connections and to solve the world’s greatest problems.
Supervisor: Nate Shaffer
This past summer I started working as a gymnastics instructor for Buckeye Gymnastics in Westerville, Ohio. I am currently coaching five classes of kids ranging from 4-10 years old! The classes I teach are called “Mighty Warrior” and “Ultimate Warrior” and are focused on physical movement similar to that used in the show American Ninja Warrior combined with gymnastics. I really enjoy letting the kids get involved with the activities they do, and incorporate their ideas into my lesson plans. We often do circuits with the gymnastics equipment, and encourage each other to go as fast as we can. I have a strong pride in my little warriors, and watched them grow so much since I started. They’ve learned to encourage one another, and when one of them struggles the rest step in to help by giving advice, asking if they’re okay, or letting me know something is wrong. I look forward to seeing where these little warriors end up and how far they’ll come!