4-H Robotics Demonstrations at Putnam County Fair

 

Thanks to the leadership efforts of 4-H volunteer Christian Destremps, eight youth have participated in a marvelous STEM learning program the past four weeks. Beginning with exploring algorithms and coding decision processes, youth set forth building and programming self-driving vehicles using the Lego Mindstorms kits managed by the Purdue Extension Putnam County program.

Youth began by developing decision processes while learning to program units to repeat functions via programming loops and also began to incorporate conditional if then components to the program with regards to movement of their self-driving vehicles. Each week additional programming decisions have been added like interpreting color sensor differences to follow a path, speed and sensing using an ultrasonic sensor to keep their vehicles from colliding with other objects.

Challenges involving time to complete a designated course have served as valuable learning lessons. Speed is not the only factor to consider. The color sensors can cause the vehicle to become so jerky with sideways motions that despite being programmed faster, the vehicle actually takes more time to complete a course and is slowed relative to other vehicles programmed as lesser speeds.

The public will have an opportunity to see these youth demonstrate their programming skills and building efforts on two evenings during the Putnam County Fair in York Automotive Building at 6 pm on both Friday, July 19 and Wednesday, July 24. The Lego EV3 Mindstorm kits afforded the Purdue Extension Putnam County program were the result of generosity by Duke Energy and the donations of other private individuals.

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming events

July 19 – 26 – Putnam County Fair

July 23 – Machine Embroidery Demonstration, 6pm, Fairgrounds

July 24 – Family Fun Day, 9:30am and 12:30pm, Fairgrounds

July 24 – Invasive Plants in Indiana and How to Reduce Their Impact, 6pm, Harris Hall at the Putnam Co. Fairgrounds

August 12 – My Record of Achievement 4-H Workshop, 6 pm, Extension Office

 

Photo caption: 4-H Volunteer Christian Destremps working with one of the teams of 4-Hers (Stone Stauch, Will Harper and Stiles Stauch) who are building and programming a self-driving vehicle. (courtesy photo)