Friday, June 19, 2009

Engineering for success

Ian's domineering mother MADE him attend a Children's Museum camp this week, partially for his own mental growth and stimulation and partially for her own sanity, since she functions best when hot, hot summer days with three children in the house aren't completely unstructured. Can you imagine?

Oh, and here's the kicker: This camp lasted for SIX hours a day! Torture for a child who's not used to school, and finds two hours per day (max) of something resembling school work to be egregious. Such a mother! Let's not forget our household motto: No one escapes from Stalag Thirteen!

He did, however, attend the camp with a good friend, and the camp was all about building and programming robots to do super cool things with Lego Mindstorms kits. It amazed me to discover, at today's demonstration, that nine year olds with no previous programming experience could press a button on these little Lego creations and presto! Two robots "sumo wrestling!" Or playing soccer, or fetching a ball, or contributing an attraction to "The Extremely Dangerous Amusement Park." (Ian's creation: The Barbie-Que, in which Barbie and Ken basically become rotisserie meat. As he explained to the audience three times, loudly.)

All in all, quite a success, and I promised I'm not saying that smugly. Interesting aside: On Day One, Ian's friend informed him that because the camp was chosen for him by his (the friend's) mother (whom I do love), and not himself, he (the friend) would be receiving a toy as a reward at the end of the week. (Insert sound of self biting tongue, hard.) Ian's response to his friend? "Well, I think my mom would say that the camp ITSELF is a reward."

People, I think we are on message. Or at least, we're getting there.


Tracee said...

wow. the camp itself is the reward. wow. from a 9 year old. you want three more?

Amy said...

Barbie-Que...I love that!

Stephanie said...

Looks like great fun - if only we were doing camps this year! I am glad we don't have to (or can't, however you want to look at it), but will tuck the idea away for future reference.