"The whole purpose is to give students more STEM (and STEAM) opportunities and particularly in robotics," said Danny Figueroa, the project's organizer and one of the founders of the Compton Robotics Club.
There's a "Maker Academy" for younger students who will be busy using STEM and STEAM principles to create things. Those students were making "doodle bots" when we visited - nothing more than a plastic cup, markers, tape and small battery-operated motor. But in the hands of these student engineers they created masterpieces.
"They’re coming up with their own unique individualized designs," said Wade Osborne, McNair ES Science Teacher. "And they’re testing them - using theories of science to test their designs."
Rebecca Aguilera told us, "I wasn’t interested in (building robots) before but I’m really interested in it now." and Antonio Cruz, her project partner said, "I like that we get to program the robots and get to use the computers."
And the third group are the "Solar Engineers" who are busy building solar-powered cars they'll race later in the program.
"All of them are engaged," said Yakubu Aderoummu, Vanguard ES science teacher. "And every day you see them come in here, even before we get here. When it’s time to leave they don’t want to leave. I hope this can continue."
"We have students here at this camp from all across Compton Unified who are hungry for robotics, engineering, and coding," said Michael Kurinsky, CUSD's Administrator for Educational Services. "And we are going to continue to offer these programs because they get students excited about learning. It's truly inspiring to see students stumped by a challenge, but then on the spot collaborate with each other and ask the right questions to get at the heart of the problem and eventually solve it."
Dania's project partner, Ramon Alcaraz, an Anderson ES 6th grader, also has ambitious goals. "I want to build robots to help people out. If there’s an earthquake the robot I constructed goes and searches for people that are stuck."