Thinking About Projects Year – Round!

Written by former Technology Director Nola E.! If you would like to be a featured blogger, email [email protected]

Living in New Hampshire and watching the snow pile higher and higher has really made me miss the sunny summers at TIC! While shoveling snow for the millionth time, I started thinking about how great it would be to have a robot to do this for me. A quick search online showed me that such a thing does exist and can also clean up leaves in the fall!

This neat little robot reminded me of some of the amazing projects I saw when I entered the robotics room at TIC. While we don’t have to deal with shoveling snow during the summer, there are problems that need innovative solutions, regardless of what season it is! When I searched a little more, I discovered another fascinating robot that does its work during the summer! This robot provides a new and interesting way to make art at the beach by drawing intricate patterns and portraits in the sand.

Seeing a winter themed robot as well as a summer themed robot reminded me of how important it is to be thinking creatively year-round. No matter what tech option you’re in, you’ll be able to express yourself creatively, using the inspiration all around you! So even though camp is several months away, it’s never too early to start brainstorming projects to do with your fellow campers!

Social Benefits of Riding the Bus

These days, kids are spending more and more time interacting on digital devices rather than in person. When they want to have a conversation, it is a quick text away rather than a phone call. Emotions are displayed with emojis, not with smiles. Kids need to be in social settings to develop skills that will help them in college and beyond. Believe it or not, riding a school bus twice a day with the same group of kids can be incredibly beneficial to developing friendships and breaking down social barriers. On a bus, kids are automatically in smaller groups, and have the opportunity to develop real relationships with people they may not otherwise talk to. I had the pleasure of recently attending a keynote speech by Bob Ditter, an adolescent and family therapist from Boston, MA. In his talk, he spoke about the importance of utilizing small groups in order to develop the social relationships of young kids. In his words, when kids interact in small groups, they relax and the social barriers are broken down. They become comfortable quickly, and start to develop connections that last when the group size increases. In other words, kids that develop relationships in small groups are more successful in larger groups where the social dynamic can be trickier to navigate. They are less likely to feel ostracized and left out, even when their interests may not align with the majority of the group.

So how does this relate to summer camp? On the first day of camp, a camper is immediately placed in a group, often times with complete strangers. He of she is then told “these are your new best friends, see you in a couple weeks!” This is extremely overwhelming, but imagine if that same child had ridden the bus to camp that morning, and was sitting next to somebody that was equally as nervous about starting camp. Prior to arriving at camp, both children are connected by a common feeling and situation. Even if those two children don’t say a word to each other all bus ride, all of a sudden a familiar face is added to the sea of strangers upon arrival. Both campers are immediately more relaxed and comfortable in what can be an intimidating environment. Now imagine at the end of a great camp day. Both campers are back on the bus, in their small group environment. They are much more likely to open up, share stories, and make friendships. As an added bonus, these new found friends are part of a small “bus crew” if you will, and are able to form their own social dynamic within the camp environment.

Fair warning, campers may come home singing this:

Girls at TIC!

Over the summer, campers at TIC-MD created a video about what it is like to be a girl at TIC Summer Camp! As we prepare for the upcoming summer season (registration opens in a little over a month!) we want to highlight these girls and show off their creative video! Enjoy!

POKEMON THEME DAY: A Session 3 #TBT

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In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a new phenomenon sweeping the nation (and TIC)! Since Pokemon itself is such a throwback, we’re hooking you up with a fresh new #TBT of Session Three’s Pokémon Theme Day! We had a range of Pocket Monster themed activities, ranging from an analog version of Pokémon Go, to a very special Da Pikachu, Da Pikachu Cheer!

 

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 Brothers Sergei & Christian V. looking Pika-chill!

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 Gabi & Heather looking Poli-wonderful!

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A casual Oddish & Bayleaf encounter!

Scroll through camper projects at ticcamp.com/projects to see more of the TIC Camp fun!

Ardui-YES

As always, TIC MD is improving and reaching new frontiers of fun-having! The newest addition to our fleet of robots is here, the Arduino! Sessions 2 & 3 have each had a group of seniors learning about circuits and programming with these new devices. Projects include: A Frankenstein’s monster-esque combination of Vex and Arduino running C and Python, many practice circuits, and soon a radio! Stay tuned for more awesome projects out of MD Robotics!IMG_20160722_125906860 13817186_1767403303504144_955912736_n 13816766_1767403296837478_253329323_n 13815061_1767403283504146_40839215_n IMG_0531 IMG_0511

TIC’S GOT TALENT!!

At the end of session 2, all of TIC-MD gathered in the gym to watch a cornucopia of talented campers (and a few counselors!) perform in our annual TIC’S GOT TALENT showcase!

 

Check out the video here:

Crazy Sock Quiz!

Last Thursday, the staff had a very special staff spirit day, with everyone wearing CRAZY SOCKS!! Campers could barely contain their excitement when they saw our quirky under-shoe-wear, and I know everyone’s been missing school, so I decided to create for y’all A FUNKY LITTLE SOCK TEST!

Head to the gallery to try to match the socks to the counselors! Scroll over the picture to see if your answer is correct!

 

Peyton’s PR Stunt

In an effort to refurbish his rep after it was badly damaged vis-a-vis #deflatergate, Peyton Manning asked two of our campers, Cameron and Noah, to create a video of him battling TIC’s Enemy #1: Frogs. Yes, F-R-O-G-S. Ireland had their snake issues, TIC has a problem with the ribbit-y, hippity-hoppity-ers. Luckily, Peyton is well-armed with footballs (pumped FULL of air, we double-checked!) and ready to take those green-y meanies DOWN!

 

CHECK IT OUT:

Independence Day (Robot Edition)

Due to some confusion about the plot of Independence Day (Aliens? Really? Didn’t Star Trek already cover that?), I prepared for y’all a highlight of our fantastic Robotics program here at TIC, with a little dash of America thrown in! Maybe this time Will Smith will win (is Will Smith in it? Who knows.)

A select few of the pics are below, with a video of some of the standout robots of Session One. Check out the TIC PICS for the rest of our July Fourth fun!

 

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“I want YOU to go defeat those robots/aliens!” -Conor, visitor to the US.

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Heather showing off her love of the USA, and its wildlife, with no bitterness over her home country’s loss in the Revolutionary War.

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Building robots to defeat the humans, aka Will Smith!

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Alex Alavi, doing his best robot impression.

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Fourth of July themed Ultimate, or robot-fighting practice?

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Christian showing off his robot-protection goggles.

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Tabitha’s Star-Spangled robot combat converse.

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Matt practicing his robot  fear face.

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Robot head or football?