AMES, Iowa - Thirty-two youth took part in the Iowa 4-H Clover Kids K-3 Robotics Learning Experience and Showcase division of the Bratney Companies Robotics Challenge at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 12 and 13.
The event gave participants the opportunity to explore basic computer science concepts while interacting with Dash and Dot, fun and engaging robots designed to inspire kids to creatively code and problem solve.
“Iowa 4-H strives to be a leader in providing young people opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics -- also known as STEM. This event provides an exciting experience for youth in grades K-3 to learn and showcase computer science skills,” said Nicole Hanson, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach youth program specialist.
“One of the main goals of our 4-H Clover Kids robotics opportunities is to teach essential 21st century skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity, as well as computer science,” said Hanson.
As a part of the experience, teams completed fair-themed challenges that included programing the robots to corral cattle, shoot hoops and play the xylophone.
Aiden Hager, a West Pottawattamie county third grader from the team West Pott Bots, said, “The best thing about coding was everything. My favorite challenge was trying to get Dash to make a basket with the launcher. I loved figuring it out. I love coding with Dash and Dot.”
“It was fun to see the kids rise to each challenge. Each young person learned so much as they all worked together to program Dash and Dot,” said Steph Erpelding, ISU Extension and Outreach youth coordinator.
The Clover Kids K-3 Robotics Learning Experience and Showcase was sponsored by Bratney Companies.
The Iowa 4-H youth development program is planning to host an additional Clover Kids Robotics Exposition in spring 2019. For more information on robotics opportunities within the Iowa 4-H Youth Development program, please contact your ISU Extension and Outreach county office or visit the Iowa 4-H website at www.extension.iastate.edu/4h.
[PHOTO] Youth work to code Dash and Dot robots to shoot a basket during the 4-H Clover Kids Robotics Learning Experience and Showcase at the 2018 Iowa State Fair.