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
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:
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!
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).
The web link for the holiday camps is here.