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September 7, 2017 The Hesston RecordSeptember 7, 2017 The Hesston Record

Swather Grad Rolling Out First Ever Robotics Camp

Posted 6/22/2017

Record Staff

This summer Hesston youth will be getting hands-on and building bots during two camps hosted by 2015 Swather graduate Austin Weaver June 26-30 and July 3-7.

The camps, hosted at Hesston High are for youths in sixth grade through incoming freshmen. The fee is $35 per participant, which will benefit the Hesston High robotics program. Registration deadline for the June 26-30 session is June 23.

Registration information may be sent to Weaver at austinaw49@gmail.com  or calling 620-217-0521.

 Weaver said camp participants will learn a full range of robotics skills including robot building, driving and programming.

“I love robotics and miss it. Kendric Weaver, Allan (Zach) Rizza and I all graduated together and did robotics together.  Someone brought up the idea to my brother, Ian, and he told me,” said Weaver.

A plan began to take shape to create the first Swather Robotics Camp. Weaver said he received permission from Superintendent Ben Proctor, Principal Ty Rhodes and cooperation from robotics teacher Trevor Foreman to host the camp.

“We started planning what we needed. They’re going to have claw-bot kits, and we had to figure how many kids we could handle with four helpers because it’s a lot of one-on-one attention.

“We went to the school and figured we could make eight kits,” Weaver said.

Weaver added during the camp, in addition to learning basic robotics skills, participants will be taking part in a tournament with a final public match at the end of camp.

“I made up a mini-game and we are going to have a tournament. I created the game, based on what you can do with a claw bot and some of the games we had while I was in robotics,” he said.

Weaver said the camp was an opportunity for youth to explore talents outside athletics.

“It gets kids engaged. Hesston’s been big on athletics. Robotics is a new thing; it’s ‘chess club.’  It’s something for the kids that don’t fit in other places. And, it gets kids ready for robotics in high school,” he said.

Weaver said there are already 20 registrations for the June session, and he is encouraged to see several new names.

“These are pretty new kids. I know the families because it’s Hesston, but a lot aren’t related to Robotics kids that are already in the program. That’s really cool,” he said.

During his time at Hesston High, Weaver was on an award-winning robotics team, taking the State Championship title in 2015. He is currently a sophomore mathematics education major at Tabor college.