Technology is practically inescapable in today’s day and age. Everyone has a smart phone, computer, tablet, gaming system, or some combination. It is used every single day for communication, entertainment, or as a tool.
Here at camp we highly encourage all of our students to put away their electronics and focus on the experience at hand. However that is not to say that we don’t love using technology. In fact, we try to focus on technology that is mindful rather than mindless. But how can you tell the difference between mindless technology and mindful technology?
Mindless technology can be the use of cell phones, video games, surfing the internet, etc. It is a way to simply pass the time with minimal interactions of thought processes or other people. It is the scrolling through a news feed or flicking through images. This is the technology that we are ditching at AstroCamp.
Instead, we have a few classes focused on mindful technology, the use of electronics to expand your brain. A few example are building robots in our robotics class, using special programs to design something to be 3D printed, making a windmill, creating extreme videos of awesome adventures such as mountain biking or scuba diving. Mindful technology is using computers, cameras, and other electronics as a resource and tool. This is the type of technology that we want our campers to get experience with and their hands on.
So the next time you are on your computer or smart phone ask yourself, is this for mindless or mindful reasons? If it is for mindless, is there a way that you can turn it into mindful? Your time is valuable and important. Don’t cheat yourself by wasting it away. Rather, create something or learn about something every chance you get.
Art is subjective, it is different and unique to each and every person and comes in different forms and mediums! We believe there is no right or wrong way to pursue art and we strive to foster our campers imaginations and creative abilities in a positive direction. That is why AstroCamp offers many outlets for expression of creativity, as well as provides a space for creative development.
There are many different mediums of art around camp. We are excited about expanding our repertoire this summer with the introduction of a few new classes. Art is all about exploring a medium that is interesting or fun to you.
Arts and Crafts is a general exploration of creativity. It is a project based class, where an instructor will lead the group through an activity like tie-dying or screen printing, but the freedom of design is up to the camper.
We also offer more specified classes. Whether it’s ceramics, painting, blacksmithing, cooking, film or photography, animation, acting, or music, AstroCamp has it all. So put those creative hats on and get to making something!
Rough terrain. Unsurpassable obstacles. Navigating the rocky unknown with little help from home. These are the challenges space robots face as they explore distant worlds– and the engineering problems summer campers solve as they build and program their own LEGO rovers.
Introductory classes focus on teamwork and getting familiar with the robot-building process. Campers are set up to succeed with a simple pre-programmed spider bot project. They have the option to play with visual coding, too!
In advanced classes, pairs of young engineers invent & build robots from scratch. Each step of the process requires cooperation, creativity, and plenty of persistence. Campers quickly discover that robotics is rarely a one-shot deal. Like grown-up rocket scientists, they must revise and re-test their designs to develop a working system.
Hands-on STEM electives like robotics lay the foundation for a lifetime of problem-solving on Earth and beyond. Students learn that failure provides valuable insights. They experience trial and error as necessary steps in the innovation process. They also gain practical knowledge as they’re exposed to the basics of design and programming. Any student who’s tackled practical engineering problems for fun is a step ahead when faced with similar challenges at school, work, and more!
Written By: Caela Barry