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UIC Engineering Experiences Camps
Girls in Computer Science - Robotics Extension Program

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Enrollment for 5th to 8th grade girls extension camp for summer 2022 is currently at capacity.

We are no longer accepting inquiries for enrollment in the 2022 summer camp.


We will begin a brand new extension of the Engineering Experiences Camp at the Learning Sciences Research Institute. This week-long program will focus on designing SOCIAL ROBOTS with guidance from Women in CS at UIC.

There is no cost to enroll in this one-week program. However, consent to research participation is required.

The research study requires students to:

  • Participate in 30 hours of activities over five days of the summer program
  • Complete short questionnaires each day of the program.
  • Complete a short interview at the end of the program.

To be eligible for the research study and the summer program students must be:

  • Female or female identifying
  • Entering 5th through 8th grade in Fall 2022
  • Agree to video and audio recordings of student participation


Is the Engineering Experience Robotics Camp for you?

YES! This program is focused on developing a positive culture of women in computer science and computing. Led by graduate researcher Rabia Ibtasar, our all female mentor staff is trained to build skills, confidence and a sense of belonging in computer science, robotics, and engineering - even if your dreams are outside of these fields. We meet every student at their skill level and give students the power to tailor their learning to meet their needs.

What is a social robot?

Social robots are robots that interact with humans and each other in a socially acceptable way. They listen, take turns, use appropriate ways of talking, and move around in ways that follow our social rules. Other than that it is up to your imagination what a social robot will do . Will your robot guide new visitors around a museum? Could your robot help your family play games? What if your robot behaved socially with other robots by acting in a play or taking turns? You can decide and program your robot to be what you want.

Camp Format

Each day of this five-day program students get a chance to design and program a robot to engage in a wide array of social interactions - from dance parties and acting to plays, to helping with family care and playing games. Students complete hands-on activities based on curriculum developed by UIC Engineering faculty members and graduate students from the Learning + Interest + Technology Lab. The program will center each student to develop ideas around their own interests, connect with college-aged mentors on the UIC campus, and watch their imagination come to life through robotics. We also include lunch and optional after-care. During the program students will hear about potential future careers that might await them in robotics, human-computer interaction and computer science. Participants begin each day at UIC’s Learning Sciences Research Institute in the Design Lab. From morning drop-off to afternoon pickup, each participant is accompanied at all times by camp staff: faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate mentors. All camp personnel are highly experienced and highly trained, and comprehensive background checks are performed to ensure the proper protection of minors. The expected participant-to-staff ratio is 4 to 1.

Cost and schedule

There is no cost to enroll in this one-week program. However, consent to research participation is required.

  • The program includes daily lunch, snacks, and project materials.
  • Optional after-care from 4pm to 6pm is available by request.
  • Enrollment in the research study is easy, and families recieve a $25 gift card after completing the program.

Dates and age groups

  • Rising 5th to 6th grade — July 18 – 22, 2022
  • Rising 7th to 8th grade — July 25 – 29, 2022

Daily schedule

  • 8:30am – 8:50am: Drop off at 1240 W Harrison St (UIC Learning Sciences Research Institute)
  • 9am – 12pm: Project and design challenge #1, with short break
  • 12pm – 1pm: Lunch break
  • 1pm – 4pm: Project and design challenge #2 (and #3, if applicable), with short break
  • 4pm: Pickup at 1240 W Harrison St

Orientation information and other details are emailed to the parents/guardians of registered participants a few weeks before the camp start date. Daily updates will also be provided during the camp.

Contact

For more information about 2022 UIC Engineering Experience Camp Robotics Extension, contact the camp director, Dr. Joseph E Michaelis, at jmich@uic.edu.

This program is sponsored by the Learning + Interest + Technology Lab at the Learning Sciences Research Institute and the UIC Computer Science Department.