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News from the 2024 Summer Camps of the School of Robotics

In June 2024, a number of summer camps organised by Scuola di Robotica took place in Turin, Genoa and Milan. We report the experience of a group of young Scuola di Robotica trainers who ran courses in the summer camps.

In the one organised in a suburb of Turin, the youngsters were scattered in different school complexes, but the result was common to all: the trainers were really impressed and excited by the enthusiasm aroused, from the youngest to the adults. Among the courses chosen were Digital Communication in STEM and Expressive Communication, Maths with Coding, Designing and Designing Games with STEM.

Davide, one of the trainers, was deeply moved by the warmth and affection shown by the children, and by their amazement: in the eyes of the latter, this group of young teachers from different Italian regions had come together to bring robotics to their city. This was perceived not only by the youngest children, but also by the parents and grandparents who listened to the joy-filled stories of their children.

Manuel, another young trainer, reports three exciting aspects of his experience: the cooperation between the boys and girls. Throughout the week of the summer camp, Manuel gave the classes some topics of robotics challenges and was impressed both by the involvement but even more so by the collaboration between the children: they helped each other, cheered each other on during the competitions, and the older children helped the younger ones engaged in coding and maths challenges.

Passion: Manuel tried to ‘challenge’ the class by proposing a more complex topic related to Roboethics, that is the applied ethics on the design, programming and use of advanced robots. He never thought that even the youngest children had such clear ideas and gave very interesting insights that he would not have thought of. The passion of the children even in expressing their opinion on whether it is right or wrong to have a robot help them with their homework or not, really impressed Manuel. In the different trainings he found that many adults and young adults feel the need to introduce education and training regarding technological awareness, and attention and care about the use and misuse of artificial intelligence and feel the need for social network education.

From robotics to friendship: one of the moments that will undoubtedly always bring a smile to Manuel’s face is the one on the last day, when three children of different ages and classes (so they didn’t have much confidence in each other), after the week of summer camp, brought a printed sheet with a dedication and a special thank you to the trainer, made with SCRATCH. The mothers report that the three boys gathered at home to make this dedication and worked are until midnight. Considering their age, Manuel was happy with the whole experience.

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