"Mars Robot Survival" March Holiday Camp at The Keys Academy

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When it comes to school holiday, I'll try to plan something outside the academic arena for AJ because all work and no play makes Jack AJ a dull boy. By 'play', I don't mean mindless or aimless playing. I believe, in all that we do, we should do with a purpose. That includes 'play'.

The Keys Academy offered AJ their March holiday programmes and he decisively made "Mars Robot Survival" his choice. I guess that is because he loves programming.

It is a 5-day camp, running from 9am to 2pm, with lunch provided. I thought that is a pretty good timing.  Parents who are working would only need to take half day leave if there is no alternative caregiver to pick up the children. Finishing the camp at 2pm would also mean children of higher primary would still have time to finish their homework (yes, I know, there is still home work from school during school holiday). And 5 days are long enough to learn something more in-depth.




And off he went. The first day was so interesting that he couldn't wait to go back again. I had no doubt about it after peeping into his work-in-progress.



The boys in this camp were trying to use logic and programming skills to rebuild their Martian Lander (robot) and this robot (that had a gyro-bot, and colour & ultrasonic sensors) was to maneuver itself through these obstacles. It was quite a challenge, I find, though I think this was why the boys loved it. They were using Lego robotics to learn basic block programming (EV3), at the same time, they were also given an introduction to ethics philosophy. 



What impressed me after the 5 days was not just that the boy was able to have his robot clearing the obstacles (though that was part of them) as seen here:



1) It was the dedication of the facilitator - Shazed. 
I had the opportunity to talk to him quite a bit and I noticed that he is quite a dedicated, hardworking and observant person. He gave me his observation about AJ which I appreciated.





2) It was the opportunity to explore outside the classroom.
On the third day, the boys were out for an excursion! They went to a restaurant where servers are robots! How cool! I didn't even know such restaurant exists in Singapore!




The trip opened up the boys' learning horizon as they witnessed for themselves live-sized robots doing job of a human. Relevant questions were asked by Shazed whether robots can replace human being absolutely, how many motors were used in this robot, etc. Shazed seized every opportunity to discuss with the boys. Thumbs up! 






3) Lastly, it was the opportunity for them to present their project.
This was really an added bonus as I didn't expect it. The boys were taught to make a presentation to some parents without reading from scripts. I was delighted that AJ didn't just get to learn about robotics, he got to pick up some presentation skills as well! And I thought he did a pretty good presentation too (though I could sense that he was nervous).




Overall both AJ and I had a good experience with The Keys Academy. The location is central which is very convenient for most working parents, the classrooms are of reasonable size and the whole place is well lit. I certainly won't rule out exploring future programmes with them. The Keys Academy provides both academic and non-academic enrichment programmes. Here's the website address if you would like to find out more: http://www.thekeys.global/

The web link for the holiday camps is here


9 comments

  1. Oh my, I didn't know such a restaurant with robotic waiters exist too! My husband and I are also keen to enrol Yasmin into such a program when she's in primary school. I think these days, knowing how to code is a huge plus :)

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  2. I tried to learn programming but somehow this old brain just didn't get it. I'll definitely send my kids to such holiday program when they are older. Where is the location of the restaurant served by robots?

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  3. Wow! This is really interesting. Will definitely introduce this to friends with older kids :)

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  4. I'm keen to know the name of the restaurant, so interesting to see robots serving customers.

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  5. Robotics is going to be the buzzword very soon. In fact, it is already! Great to know about the program.

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  6. The restaurant is really cool! Glad he enjoyed his sessions. There's just so much to learn and know out of the usual classroom settings.

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  7. OMG building a robot in just 5 days is amazing!! Having a boy in the household, I must remember this and keep it in mind so that I can explore such classes when he is older.

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  8. Ah, I couldn't make it for the interesting workshops by The Keys during the March hols. Will keep a lookout for them in the future. And yes, where is that cool restaurant??

    Mary
    Simply Lambchops blog

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  9. Guess my 2 yr old has to wait till he can have fun at camps like these!

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