Robotics Team 60 works toward the future with summer camp

AHRON SHERMAN/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Lex, a 5-year-old, 75-pound Dutch Shepherd with the Hualapai Tribal Police Department plays tug-o-war with two kids from the Summer Fun Daze program.

AHRON SHERMAN/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Lex, a 5-year-old, 75-pound Dutch Shepherd with the Hualapai Tribal Police Department plays tug-o-war with two kids from the Summer Fun Daze program.

KINGMAN - Each one teach one. That's what will happen when the Kingman FIRST Robotics Lego League Summer Camp kicks off on July 11 with a rookie camp, which will be followed by a veteran camp on July 18.

At the camp, members of the Robotics Team 60, which went all the way to the FIRST championships this last school year, will help teach younger students the ins-and-outs of programming, mechanics, design and project presentation.

Team 60 is comprised of high school students from both Kingman High and Kingman Academy of Learning.

Noah Lucier, a Lego League mentor who has been on the robotics team for a year now and will take over head programming duties next school year, said the camp is a way to get younger students interested in science and technology and recruit them to the robotics team.

"There is something for everyone," Lucier said.

One thing Lucier learned from being part of the camp is that kids want to learn science and technology even if they don't know it till they get the opportunity to help build a small Lego bot. When they see the larger bots used in competition, Lucier said they're often amazed.

The small Lego bots are less than a cubic foot in size, Lucier said. But the bots used in competition are 5-feet tall with a 27-by-34 inch base.

The more kids interested in science and technology, the better it is for the economy, he said. Society is always in need of more programmers and mechanics, and that will continue to be the case until technology stops increasing, he said.

Celeste Lucier, Noah's mother and robotics team mentor, said the whole system is collaborative. The adults oversee the student mentors, and the student mentors oversee the younger kids at the camp, Celeste said.

"I get a kick out of seeing the high school students teaching the younger kids," said Celeste, who also teaches fifth-grade at KAOL. "You get to see their eyes light up as they learn new things."

The high school students often have to take a step back when they're teaching, and that gives them real life experience, Celeste said.

It also builds confidence and elevates their status to that of a role model.

This is Celeste's first year as a team mentor, but when she picked up Noah from last year's camp, parents would come over and give lots of good feedback.

"It's a phenomenal thing," Celeste said. "Teens get a bad wrap."

Teenagers can often reach younger students in ways teachers and adults cannot because they speak the same language, Celeste said. Even in her classroom she will tell students to get help from their classmates when she has trouble reaching them on a certain subject or math problem.

"I would love to see more collaboration in education," Celeste said. "(FIRST) pushes for that. Members must work as a team to problem solve."

After years of Lego mishaps such as stepping on them and cleaning them up, Celeste said she had an "Aha!" moment seeing Noah work with teammates and younger students to create problem-solving robots.

There is still room for more at this year's Lego League Summer Camp. It costs $50 per participant, and students must be between the third and eighth grade. Call Cliff Angle, the team's mentor, at (928) 692-9815 for more information, or e-mail him at cangle@kusd.org.

As for the camp, Noah offers one piece of advice for kids planning on attending: "Have an open mind. Any kid willing to learn, can learn (what we're teaching)."