Latino students explore robotics in annual camp

The Latino LEGO Robotics Camp finished up a week of activities with demonstrations of what the students learned during the camp.

In its fifth year, the free camp is offered by TuFuturo (Latino Education Group) in partnership with Purdue Polytechnic Columbus. It is designed to introduce students to engineering, technology and math skills, said Camp Director and Instructor Joe Fuehne, who also leads Purdue Polytechnic in Columbus.

The overall objective of TuFuturo, and also an important objective of the Community Education Coalition, is to increase the high school graduation rate and the post-secondary education attainment rate for Latino students.

“This year, the group of students showed great improvement in their skills compared to the first sessions we had a couple years ago,” Fuehne said.

During the camp, LEGO robots are built and programmed and at the end of the camp, the robots are put to the test during several challenges, with about 30 parents and visitors looking on.

“My son has always liked LEGO, and this camp brought greater perspectives, new challenges in addition to stimulating creativity, he really enjoyed having participated, said Juliana Salomao, mother of Miguel, one of the camp’s participants.

The camp is really all about kids having fun, Fuehne said.

“Whether they choose to be a robotics engineer or not, it’s about getting them to think about STEM options for a career,” he said.