California Space Grant Campus Director Dr. Jose J. Granda, a professor at Sacramento State, led Boy Scout groups at Camp Winton in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related project. The project involved designing and programming robots and was supported by a mini-grant from the NASA Summer of Innovation, an initiative with the goal of enhancing the engagement of American students in STEM.
Over the course of a week, sixteen Boy Scouts were taught how to assemble the robots, the principles of operation and how to write software which enabled the robots to perform as expected. Working in groups of four, the Boy Scouts either produced NXT robots, made of small LEGO pieces, or PARALLAX robots composed of structural pieces and common hardware. There were two objectives: to put together a robot that followed a specific path and to design their own robot and robot course. At the end of the week, the teams were required to perform a field test on their robots and they were all successful.