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Aspire to a Brighter Future with a Summer of STEM: UBTECH Introduces Camp:ASPIRE, a Virtual STEM Robotics Camp for Kids

Virtual, expert instruction and real, hands-on robotics teach vital STEM skills in the safety and comfort of home

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 With an aim to help keep kids learning and engaged this summer while growing skills for the future, UBTECH Education today announced Camp:ASPIRE, At-home Summer Programs in Robotics & Engineering, designed to immerse children in hands-on STEM learning activities, design challenges, and creative fun with robots. Developed in partnership with the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice, a global initiative dedicated to preparing every child to thrive through high-quality STEM education, Camp:ASPIRE brings best-in-class virtual instruction with accredited educators and hands-on building with robots to the safety and comfort of home.

While kids often experience a “summer slide” of learning loss over summer break, experts warn this year will see an especially challenging “COVID-19 slide”: many students will fall nearly a full year behind in math as a result of school disruptions and canceled summer camps due to ongoing social distancing. Camp:ASPIRE offers a home-based solution to keep children between the ages of 8 and 16 learning, problem solving, and expanding their STEM skills through multiple week-long class offerings that include expert, interactive virtual instruction combined with real, hands-on robot building kits delivered to your door.

Registration for Camp:ASPIRE opens today with the first classes beginning June 15 and running each week until Aug. 24.

Underscoring a commitment to help address inequities in STEM education, UBTECH and the STEM Learning Ecosystems are also providing funds that support equitable access to vital STEM learning resources. Up to 10 percent of revenue from Camp:ASPIRE, with a minimum of $100,000, will be directly reinvested as scholarships awarded to students for whom a summer robotics program would otherwise be out of reach. Information about applying can be found at the Camp:ASPIRE website.

In addition, a portion of revenue from Camp:ASPIRE registrations sold through the STEM Learning Ecosystems will be given back to Ecosystems Communities of Practice, providing valuable funding for future learning initiatives in their communities. It is the shared belief of both UBTECH and the STEM Learning Ecosystems that every child should have access to the STEM education they need for a brighter future.

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The classes are virtual, the robots are real

Participants in Camp:ASPIRE receive 10 hours of live virtual instruction by accredited STEM educators over five days, all safely delivered using the latest video conference technology to small, interactive groups at the same skill level. Kids also receive a UKIT robotics building kit that includes servos, connectors, a main control box, and 300-500+ pieces, all of which are the child’s to keep and continue building after the class ends. In addition to the live virtual instruction, Camp:ASPIRE also provides 10+ hours of additional, self-guided activities to keep the learning growing and creativity flowing throughout the week.

Camp:ASPIRE class options will be open to all levels of learners, from beginner to more experienced. Classes include:

  • Robotics, Coding & Engineering: Introduction to learning the basics of programming, engineering and robotics. Students start by building and programming basic robots to do simple tasks and quickly progress to designing more complex robotic creations that will get them excited about engineering.
  • Animal Robots: Designing robots to mimic animal movements. Students use what they can observe in nature as inspiration for a robot they design, build, and program, exploring how biology, art, and robots can all be linked through biomimicry.
  • Coding & Sensors: Building robots to interact with the world. Students dive into how computers use sensors to make sense of the world. Students will build and program multiple sensors to expand their computational and engineering design thinking skills.
  • A Helping Hand: Designing robots to solve problems. Students dive into different applications of robotics and then design a robot to solve a specific problem in their community, creatively thinking about how they can utilize robotics for a useful purpose.

Full class descriptions, pricing, and availability can be found on the Camp:ASPIRE website. Classes are limited due to the small student-instructor ratio, so parents are encouraged to register as soon as possible to secure their child’s spot and take advantage of early bird discounts.

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Camp:ASPIRE Toolkits for educators

In addition to offering Camp:ASPIRE directly to parents and their budding engineers-in-the-making, UBTECH Education is partnering with the STEM Learning Ecosystems to offer schools, traditional summer camps, and other STEM educators complete toolkits to coordinate and lead a summer robotics program of their own. By packaging together UKIT robotics building kits, software, curricula, professional development, and support services, educators can introduce a cost-effective, turnkey STEM summer camp in a matter of days instead of weeks or months.

“This year is an unprecedented situation where schools and summer camps are scrambling to keep students learning while adhering to social distancing guidelines,” said Veronica Gonzales, director of the STEM Learning Ecosystems. “We are excited about the partnership with UBTECH because it enables us to provide a valuable service to the communities and students we serve.”

Gonzales said the Camp:ASPIRE Toolkits were introduced to the STEM Learning Ecosystems earlier this month and have been adopted by many community organizations, who see them as a fast, easy, and cost-effective way for STEM educators to onboard a home-based program that is engaging, instructional, and fun. Gonzales also noted that Camp:ASPIRE is NGSS-aligned and already proven in classrooms, giving it added appeal.

“Social distancing and home learning have meant an enormous adjustment for students, parents, and educators alike,” added Jamie Sachs, senior director, UBTECH Education. “But through difficult times, we still have to support our kids with educational opportunities to keep them learning and growing. Whether through a week-long Camp:ASPIRE virtual class or through a UBTECH partner using one of our Camp:ASPIRE Toolkits, we want to keep expanding young minds with the STEM skills they’ll need for a more promising and successful future.”

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