GEAR TECH 21 Robotics Camp Submitted by Robyn Eckhoff

BUTLER, MO: A GEAR TECH 21 Robotics Camp was held August 8th and 9th at the Adrian Optimist Community Building conducted by the University of Missouri Extension Office of Bates County.  Seventeen kids from across the county attended the nine-hour camp using GEAR TECH 21 curriculum which was originated by Nebraska 4-H.  Bates County Robotics FIRST Lego League Team coach Jerry Ferguson and Retired Gifted teacher from the Butler School District Carolyn Jett served as leaders for the camp.  Extension Associate Brittany Neider assisted throughout the camp.

The youth that participated in the GEAR TECH 21 Robotics Camp learned of the camp through a robotics demonstration at the Bates County Fair.  The University Extension services provided the EV3 robotics kits and computers. The campers were instructed in building a basic robot, as well as utilizing a “brick” (the controlling and powering device), to power their creation.

Heritage Tractor and Adrian MFA brought three large pieces of farm equipment for the campers to gain experience in auto-steer machinery in action.  Campers got to see first-hand how mapping and using GPS systems to farm was utilized.

Extension Associate Brittany Neider discussed GPS/GIS units with the attendees.  GPS handheld devices were provided by the University of Missouri Geography Department. They learned about latitude and longitude and how to define a location, and then they went on a short scavenger hunt to locate items using the GPS units.

On the second day, campers were challenged to build a drag-racer, a heavy hauler, or a mobile maze runner. They built and programmed these as their final assignment.

A special thanks goes to Ruth Ann Ferguson for taking care of snacks and lunch during the camp.

For more information on Bates County Robotics and on 4-H in Bates County contact Robyn Eckhoff at 660-679-4167.