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Organizers ready for 'Bot Basics and Beyond Camp' in Lacombe and Red Deer

Dagmar Knutson is the executive-director and founder of Ten Peaks Innovation Alliance, Inc. The organization is hosting 'Bot Basics and Beyond' day camps in Lacombe and Red Deer later this month. (File photo)

It's time for Central Alberta kids to get their 'tech on'.

Ten Peaks Innovation staff are thrilled to be hosting half-day Bot Basics and Beyond camps at the Lacombe Composite High School and in Red Deer with Lacombe science teacher and award-winning robotics teacher Steve Schultz. 

Participants will code and design an MBOT2 robot and its SMART world add-on, using drag-and-drop technology with Schultz leading the way.

The camp will run daily from July 22 to 26 at Lacombe Composite High School from 8.30 a.m. – noon and then in Red Deer at The Centre for Social Impact (4808 - 50 St.) from 1 - 4:30 p.m.

"The way I always share it is that it's going to be a fun time for kids to get their 'tech on'," said Dagmar Knutson, Ten Peaks' executive director.

"They are going to learn about robotics and the use of it in the real world. It's hands-on," she said, adding that campers will be guided through the intricate processes of robot assembly and all the cool facts and figures that are a part of that mix.

"They will do some designing, getting their hands going and their minds thinking about building these little robots. We also try to share stories of sustainability - we will be introducing them to U.N. development sustainability goals, and we will be talking about automation (in that context).

"I like to tie in the concept of ag technology," she said, referring to a recent study by the University of Toronto showing that Alberta has the highest level of food insecurity in Canada.

It's news like this that inspires Knutson to all the more encourage young minds to start thinking of ways to combat such realities.

"We have all of these innovative people in agriculture - we've got producers, we've got farmers - and technology is in their world, too," she said.

She pointed to Lacombe Composite High School's ground-breaking work in sustainability and food security strategies, noting that there is continued room for automation and robotics to be integrated into the implementation of ag and food solutions as well.

"Kids always want to know things like how things apply in the real world," she said.

"So our camps are about, let's learn about robotics - you guys are all interested in robotics and tech, and it's all a big part of our future, 

"How do we apply that to the real world? We just thought, let's try to have them think about maybe using their design concepts, robots, and automation and apply that to problems like food scarcity," she said.

"This is ultimately what Ten Peaks wants to do. We want to engage and inspire kids. Let's talk about innovation, technology, and how we can make our world better," she said. "Let's show kids how we can merge all of this together. Let's inspire them."

Knutson said youth have until the Friday prior to the camp's start date to register.

Looking down the road, Knutson also mentioned that the fourth annual 10Peaks Innovation Xchange (10PIX) conference is slated to run in October as well.

"It's set for Oct. 17 at Red Deer Polytechnic," she said.

This event, which is open now for registration, is only for teachers and students, so it's closed to the public except for a  special breakfast in the morning.

"The fourth annual 10Peaks Innovation Xchange (10PIX) is the place for dynamic presentations and thought-provoking discussions between you, your teachers, industry experts, and others about our role in the future and the innovation that will get us there," noted the Ten Peaks website.

Schultz's robotics team will be one of the featured guests for the breakfast, where members will be talking about their bee-keeping innovation, she said.

Other guests will also discuss a range of exciting new initiatives brought to fruition by young people across the region.

For tickets to the breakfast, and more information about Ten Peaks Innovation and the various opportunities offered, visit













 Through engaging and dynamic activities, campers are encouraged to brainstorm and experiment with everything the smart world robot can do.

Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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