What happens when you don’t code or program a Sphero ball correctly to get it to come back to you? The campers in our Drone City AEROBASE camp can tell you. After a week of coding these balls and flying drones, they can tell you about a lot of science exploration as well as the different uses of drones in research and industry. That’s what STARBASE summer camps are all about…learning while having fun!
This summer partners like the ones shown here support approximately 300 campers in a unique partnership with our non-profit, STARBASE Victory, Inc. and Portsmouth Public Schools. Every summer with their support, we have expanded both our size (number of camps) and our curriculum, bringing free attendance to the students who have either already experienced STARBASE during the school or excitedly anticipate their new experience (rising 4th graders).
The summer camps we offer are diverse, and often created with input from students. Here are the ones which are funded by STARBASE for summer 2017:
LEGO WeDo Camp, open to rising 4th graders, is designed for campers to explore robot design and programming basics as they create robotic critters and investigate principles of simple machines.
CODE TREKKERS (rising 5th graders) engages campers in decoding secret messages around Old Towne using GPS units. The goal is to find their agent! Will they find their agent before their “cover” is blown?
ECO-CADETS (rising 6th graders) engages campers in a variety of ecological activities including testing water quality, kayaking and bird watching.
DRONE CITY (rising 7th graders) is the camp where flying and coding drones in challenging obstacle courses leads to team building, aerospace knowledge and much more.
PPScoders (rising 5th , 6th , and 7th graders) involves learning the basics of computer coding, developing programs, and exploring career opportunities as they see real programmers in action.
The summer camps offer our STARBASE staff the opportunity to be innovative and plan new modules which can eventually be included during the school year. The purchase of the Sphero balls and drones, for example, may provide new curriculum ideas for the AEROBASE program (including coding).
Did you know that every STARBASE summer camp includes an educational field trip? Though field trips have often been deleted from public school calendars, we believe it is an important aspect of learning STEM skills and expanding the experiences of children in Portsmouth who may have never left the city. From Washington, D.C to visit the National Air and Space Museum & the National Museum of African American History and Culture to kayaking on Paradise Creek or an excursion on the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Boat, STARBASE summer campers get to expand their worlds valuable ways.
So next time you see any of these fine STARBASE partners or others who have made a major commitment to this nonprofit, please say “thank you”!
Sphero began the connected play revolution in 2010, fusing robotic and digital technology into
immersive entertainment experiences that ignite imagination and defy expectation.