Story by Melanie Urquizo aka Dolphin
Eleven of Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio’s middle and high school students had the opportunity to experience underwater robotics through a week long day camp at the council in Redlands, and I was excited to be a part of it. This was the first ever robotics camp offered through our Council and it was a big success.
Each girl was given a notebook where we wrote down observations about our scientific experience: what worked, what didn’t work, how we fixed the problem, diagrams, and any notes we found important to know for future experiments. Then we were split up into teams of three to four and given a box with all our parts and supplies along with a handy dandy manual. Luckily though, we had five UCR college graduates there as our instructors who were more than willing to lend a helping hand.
This camp was unlike any I’ve ever been through because it offered a very interactive environment where we were able to build things with our own two hands, just like a real engineer. During the four days it took us to build our remotely operated vehicle (ROV) we were able to learn how to solder, cut PVC pipes, strip wire, use a drill, waterproof a motor, identify between negatively and positively charged wires, and more. I have never done most of these things before so it was pretty cool to use this stuff in action to make our ROV come to life.
Out of all the days though, if you would ask any of us which one was the most exciting, everyone would tell you that it was competition day. This was the day where we all had the opportunity to race our ROVs’ through an obstacle course and compete to see how many objects we could pick up in the water. My group, H2O, were the winners of the obstacle course race and we all got candy!
Then we finished off the day with our parents getting to see all of our awesome creations and watch us all get special recognition awards. I wasn’t really expecting any award at the end but it made me feel very special to earn the Best Leader Award.
I would like to give a special thanks to everyone who was a part of making this camp such a fun learning experience that taught me new skills I can take with me on my own science experience.