Archive for Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Rockets and robots abound at weeklong 4-H camp

July 3, 2007

Anyone who thinks the 4-H Club is just about farming and agriculture will be surprised that modern 4-H'ers also spend their time learning how to program robots or even build their own rockets.

For the second year, members of the Leavenworth County 4-H Club attended a weeklong technology and aerospace camp at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds. The camp was started to teach pre-teen 4-H'ers about the four principles of flight, Bernoulli's principle and robotics.

"I just think it's pretty cool," said 4-H'er Victoria Thompson. "I'm just really fascinated by all of it."

The 10-year-old was so impressed with the camp a year ago that she, and five other campers, decided to return this year to learn more about technology.

Cindy Reynolds and Brenda Taxeras helped supervise and coordinate the five-day camp. Watching the 13 youths play with and learn how to operate robots was something they could never imagine doing themselves when they were in grade school.

"The kids never have enough technology," Taxeras said. "To them it's just a part of their everyday life."

Jacob and Ben Reynolds, Cindy's sons, were among some of the teens who volunteered at the camp.

Jacob helped start the camp last year. He said this year went much more smoothly than last year, plus organizers were able to incorporate a second level of education for those campers who were returning from a year ago.

Overall he said he was pleased with the way the campers soaked in all of the information.

"Sometimes it gets hard, but they usually listen to you and follow instructions," he said.

The one big downfall of the whole week was the weather that did not cooperate with the 4-H'ers during rocket launch day, which was on Friday, the last day of camp. Camp coordinators switched the indoor robotics test to the early morning hoping the rain would let up and let the 4-H'ers launch their rockets. But the rain never dissipated, forcing them to take turns running out into the rain.

After watching a few rockets blast their way into the sky, though, many of the campers didn't even mind getting a little wet.

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