Spring Break 2018 Recap

A week of Robotics, 3D Modeling and Augmented Reality


“I can see myself doing this…” Princess, C4K Member [while job shadowing at WillowTree.]

This Spring Break, eight C4K youth spent 92 hours at C4K, designing and building robots, building 3D models and strengthening their 21st-century ‘super skills’ in communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity!

During this workshop series, youth were supported to:

  • Make connections between skills, careers, and college-readiness.
  • Set SMART, short-term and long-term project goals.
  • Embrace joy, creativity, and personalization in workshop activities.
  • Follow, self-paced tutorials to build robots and 3D models!
  • Develop their own portfolio!


3D Architecture & Game Design: Members used:

  • Google SketchUp to design a community-based improvement project
  • Roblox to design 3D games.
  • Microsoft’s “3D Builder” to design a custom Raspberry Pi case.

Robotics: Coding + Design: Most members made their first robot at camp! Members used LEGO Mindstorms, NXT robot kits and NXT-G coding software to follow self-paced and self-guided robotics challenges. Youth chose what to build and the purpose they wanted the robot to serve.

  • Philip’s first robot was modeled after the segway; using a light sensor to balance.
  • Layth’s latest robot combined two motors with wheels to race around a track.
  • Zesha made a robot puppy named “Lego” – he was designed and programmed to go on walks. An ultrasonic and touch sensor controlled his movements.
  • Mehdi designed and programmed his first robot to move in different directions.
  • Patience’s first robot used light and motion sensors to locate and capture objects.
  • Princess’ first-ever robot, made with a Lego Mindstorms kit, was a personalized guitar that changed notes using pre-recorded sounds and an ultrasonic sensor.
  • Thomas’ first robot was designed to be controlled using a hand-powered motor.

WillowTree Job Shadowing

To tie the skills they developed during Spring Break to real-world applications, youth visited local tech-company, WillowTree to tour and job-shadow. Youth spent a morning working alongside app designers, software engineers, and the quality assurance team. While there, Princess exclaimed: “I can see myself doing this…!” The youth loved experimenting with WillowTree’s technology, including an augmented reality app, virtual reality tools, software development kits and more!

Patience customized her robot to thank WillowTree for their experience!

Planning & Managing

Youth learned to use a new five-phase project management framework (see image below) that can be applied to all future C4K projects.








What next?

The Spring Break workshops used our existing robotics, programming, engineering and 3D modeling tools – and ignited a curiosity in youth participants. We hope to expand the space to create C4K’s first Engineering + Robotics lab. Our new Lab and its programming will provide youth and their mentors hands-on, cutting-edge technologies to simulate real-world application.

Contact Chris Florez (chris@computers4kids.net) to learn more about C4K’s STEAM programming!