The 2020 Barbados Junior Robotics Camp

In 2020, four levels of the camp will be running in parallel. The Camp will begin on Tuesday 07 July 2020 and conclude on Thursday 06 August 2020 with lab clean up, followed by the awards and certificate presentations. The highlight will be the Students’ Public Showcase of their robots in action on Wednesday 05 August 2020.

Our modified VEX robotics curriculum is employed for Levels I – III. It comprises a mix of classroom teaching, and hands-on building through the use of VEX Robotics Kits. Through this curriculum, the students are introduced to STEM and robotics. They learn about the basic components of robots, and see examples of how science and math are applied to engineering. Level IV campers build their robots from scratch.
 

2020 Camp Syllabus and Application Forms

Required Survey Form for Previous Campers

Please note that all Level II and III applicants are also required to fill out and submit the online survey for the last camp they participated in, in order for their applications to be considered. This means that previous Level I campers from the 2015 – 2019 classes who wish to participate in the 2020 Level II Camp must fill out the survey for their last camp experience, if they have not already done so. Similarly, Level III applicants (who participated in a Level II camp in 2016 – 2019) must fill out the form for their Level II experience. The form can be accessed at the link below:

Online robotics camp survey

Please be sure to hit the submit button when finished. Please note that the online survey requirement does not apply to Level I or Level IV applicants.
 

Level I Robotics – Introductory/Beginner

The Level I Camp is open to persons who are at least 10 years old and less than 15 years old on July 1, 2020. The Level I Camp focuses on “teleoperated” robots (robots operated remotely), but also introduces concepts of “autonomous” robots. Simple mechanical, and electrical concepts are introduced using the VEX IQ kit, alongside “block-based” programming, and simple sensors. The goal is to apply this knowledge to automate devices, primarily through the use of “static pre-programmed” action sequences created using “block-based” programming tools and simple sensors. Campers create semi-autonomous robot(s) that can be controlled within a fairly sophisticated obstacle course. Students at the upper end of the Level I age range who progress rapidly may be promoted to the Level II Camp after two weeks in Level I.

Level I Camp Application Form

Student application forms for the Level I Camp are available at the links below in .doc and pdf formats:

BJRC 2020 Level I Application Form.docx

BJRC 2020 Level I Application Form.pdf

Please note that all Level I applicants must secure a recommendation from a science or math teacher or their Principal. The recommendation form can be downloaded in .doc and pdf formats from the links below:

BJRC 2020 Teacher-Principal Recommendation Form.docx

BJRC 2020 Teacher-Principal Recommendation Form.pdf

This recommendation form should be printed out and given to the teacher or Principal for submission to the CSF before 11:59 pm AST on 15 May 2020. Alternatively, the teacher or Principal may download the form directly from the website. However, from the CSF’s perspective, the Camper is ultimately responsible for making sure the teacher or Principal gets hold of the form.
 

Level II Robotics – Intermediate

The Level II Camp, is open to persons, typically at least 11 years old and less than 15 years old, who have completed the Level I Camp with a favorable review from their former coaches. Students who have been unfocused or disruptive in the Level I Camp (based on the recommendation of the Level I Camp coaches) should not apply for admission to the Level II Camp.

The Level II Camp focuses on fully “autonomous” robots created using the VEX IQ kit. Campers will learn to document their builds using standard practices (including CAD tools), and learn how to treat uncertainty in sensing. The goal is to design and/or build autonomous robots that can run a fairly sophisticated obstacle course without human intervention; primarily through the use of “feedback-driven” action sequences created using “block-based” programming tools and complex sensors.

Level II Camp Application Form

Student application forms for the Level II Camp in .doc and .pdf formats are available at the links below:

BJRC 2020 Level II Application Form.docx

BJRC 2019 Level II Application Form.pdf

 

Level III Robotics – Advanced

The Level III Camp will involve substantially more computer programming than the Level II Camp, and thus Level III robots will perform much more complex tasks autonomously. Level III focuses on both “teleoperated” and fully “autonomous” robots, that require more complex programming than Level II. This involves use of AppInventor, and Arduino kit robots. Campers will learn to document their program-algorithms using standard practices, and work with maps for navigation. The goal is to design and/or build robots that can robustly run a sophisticated obstacle course from a random starting point without human intervention; primarily through the use of “feedback-driven” action sequences created using “text-based” programming tools and complex sensors.

The Level III Camp will be open to persons, typically at least 12 years old and less than 15 years old, who have completed either the Level II Camp, or in exceptional circumstances the Level I Camp, with a favourable review from their former coaches. Only students who participated in a lower Level II camp (e.g., Level IIA) in 2016 -2019 Camp may apply for the Level III Camp. Since the 2020 Level III is the same as the 2018 Level IIB, students who participated in the 2018 Level IIB Camp may NOT apply to the 2020 Level III Camp.

Those students who have already participated in the 2018 Level IIB in 2018 may apply to the Level IV Camp if they meet the age requirement (15 years old by July 1, 2020 but less than 18 by July 1, 2020). Unfortunately, if the age requirement is not met, the CSF has no other summer program at this time to which they can apply. The Level IV age requirement is imposed because Level IV requires the use of power tools, and safety is our major concern.

Such younger students may want to consider applying to Level I of the CSF Computer Coding Workshop which is expected to run every Saturday morning from September 12 to December 12, 2020 (see http://caribbeanscience.org/coding-camp/). However, please note that the CSF Computer Coding Workshops are quite challenging, and have weekly homework assignments that must be done to stay in the Workshop. They are intended for students who are seriously interested in science and engineering, and not just looking for fun.

Level III Camp Application Form

Student application forms for the Level III Camp in .doc and .pdf formats are available at the links below:

BJRC 2020 Level III Application Form.docx

BJRC 2020 Level III Application Form.pdf

 

Level IV Robotics – The Creators

The Level IV Camp focuses on fully “autonomous” robots, that are custom-built using Arduino boards. The goal is to design and/or build robotics solutions that can address a contemporary problem; primarily through the use of “feedback-driven” action sequences created using “text-based” programming tools along with simple sensors.

Level IV Campers will be expected to design and build their own robots from a box of parts and materials, and employ Arduinos and/or Raspberry Pi’s in their design. Preferred programming languages are Python and C++. Campers will be expected to work in a safety-conscious manner when using hand and power tools, and to document both builds and algorithms using standard practices.

Owing to safety concerns, the Level IV Camp will be open to persons who are at least 15 and less than 18 years old on July 1, 2020. However, applications from students who are more than 18 but less than 19 years of age on July 1 will be considered if Level IV is under subscribed. Prior participation in Levels I and II is not a prerequisite for Level IV applicants.

A recommendation from their teachers and/or former coaches is required along with a short essay. Level IV campers are expected to follow along with the camp content outside camp hours for the duration of the camp. This includes homework and personal study/research requiring approximately 2 hours per night (weekends included).

Level IV Camp Application Form

Before filling out any Camp application forms, please be sure to read the BJRC Camp Overview, as it should answer most of your questions.
The Level IV application form is available in .doc and .pdf formats at the link below:

BJRC 2020 Level IV Application Form.docx

BJRC 2020 Level IV Application Form.pdf

Please note that all Level IV applicants must secure a recommendation from a science or math teacher or their Principal. The recommendation form can be downloaded in .doc and .pdf formats from the link below:

BJRC 2020 Teacher-Principal Recommendation Form.docx

BJRC 2020 Teacher-Principal Recommendation Form.pdf

This recommendation form should be printed out and given to the teacher or Principal for submission to the CSF before 11:59 pm EST on 15 May 2020. Alternatively, the teacher or Principal may download the form directly from the website. However, from the CSF’s perspective, the Camper is ultimately responsible for making sure the teacher or Principal gets hold of the form.
 

Camp Selection Criteria

The BJRC Admissions Committee is responsible for selecting the students. The Committee is comprised of a subset of the Robotics Camp Planning Committee and all of the Head Coaches. Because of budget and space limitations, the Committee will limit the number of participants in Levels I to about 30 students, in Level II to about 20, Level III to about 15 and Level IV to about 10. It is important to note that participation in Level I does not guarantee a spot in the Level II class. Similarly, previous participation in Level II does not guarantee a spot in the Level III class. The Admissions Committee will only consider complete applications that arrive before the application deadline, and the age limit for each camp and the citizenship (or the 4-year consecutive Barbados school attendance) requirement will be strictly enforced.

For all camp levels, the Admissions Committee will rank applicants taking the following factors into consideration:

  • The strength of the recommendation from the teacher or Principal
  • An assessment of the applicant’s interest and passion for STEM based on the submitted materials, and the coaches’ evaluations if the applicant was a previous camper
  • The behavior of the camper in any previous CSF camp(s). Campers who have been disruptive or disinterested will be given the lowest priority
  • The age of the applicant (older applicants will be given preference over younger applicants who have to option to re-apply in later years)
  • In the event where 2 or more applicants are equally ranked, and the number of such applicants exceeds the unfilled spots, a lottery system will be put in place to select the remaining successful candidates

 

Camp Fees

The CSF, through donations from its sponsors, bears almost all of the financial costs associated with the BJRC. However, parents/guardians are expected to contribute a participation fee of BD$ 500 per child for the entire month. For parents who are unable to pay the fee in full before the camp starts, the CSF will accommodate up to 4 weekly payments upon request. All campers receive a Robotics T-Shirt which must be worn at the Final Projects Showcase.

 

Application form for Coach Positions

The CSF is seeking qualified coaches who have the experience and can commit one month in the summer to help us run the four Levels of the camp. These positions carry a modest stipend. A signed contract with the CSF must be executed, as all coaches are expected to be available for the duration of the camp.

The Coach Application Form can be downloaded in WORD or pdf formats from the links below:

BJRC Coach Application Form.docx

BJRC Coach Application Form.pdf

Caribbean Science Foundation

CARICOM Research Building
UWI Cave Hill Campus
Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies
Telephone: 1-246-417-7493
E-mail: csfhdq@gmail.com

For further information, please contact:
Prof. Cardinal Warde
warde.csf@gmail.com