WMSI doesn't give limits to what can be built, though we do use constraints. We have always felt that constraints to a build design help support creativity. It forces our campers to think out side of the box, when they can't use a regular tool. Well, how about thinking of a tool that has no purpose?
It can be harder than you'd think to come up with a machine that does literally nothing, and that was our first challenge today. We tasked our campers to build a "Useless Machine."
Similar to a Rube Goldberg Machine, these robotic machines are designed to do nothing besides entertain. Such as, a light switch that turns itself off.
Or a box that opens the bottom once something has been placed inside.
Even a car that rips itself apart would qualify; as long as it gets you nowhere, it's a useless machine.
From there we did a total 180 and started focusing on machines with purpose. We asked our campers to brainstorm ideas of machines that would help them with their "Daily Struggles." It was very interesting to see them go from one mindset to another.
All these amazing ideas came forward and the inspiration came from their day-to-day lives, or even the lives of their families. It was a great way to end our last day, our campers were able to apply what they learned over this past week to their own personal life experience; it is that kind of connection to your work that brings forth amazing results!
I want to thank everyone for coming to our Robot Camp this summer! I had a blast and I know all the other staff and (I hope) campers had just as much fun. We hope to see you next year, if not sooner at one of our workshops!