DanceBots, coding and creativity: learning more about future professional possibilities

Within the digitalswitzerland nextgeneration initiative, MINT&Pepper is running one of the six high quality summer camps offered to children and youth. The camps provide an array of attractive sessions built on previous experiences and new developments.

Experiential learning for amusing scientific insights
(content provided by Mint&Pepper)

How do I build a dancing robot? Which is the fastest fish and how do I imitate it? When does a Thymio-robot glow in the dark? MINT&Pepper provides some answers. While being part of projects, children and teenagers learn new things and combine this with their existing knowledge, making them curious for more MINT (Mathematics, Informatics, Natural Sciences and Technology) knowledge and experience!

Our vision is to give all children and young people in Switzerland a practical insight into MINT subjects. We offer them the possibility, independently of origin or gender, to select a profession that matches their talents. In the long term, this should lead to even more innovation and pleasure at work and to the strengthening of the overall economy in Switzerland by more diversity in a sustainable way.

Summer camps “Mission Rosetta”

The “Mission Rosetta” summer camps give key insights into robotics, medicine, materials and food sciences through fun projects based on a real space mission. During the “Mission Rosetta camp”, the children implement their own mission, which is like a real mission: the lander did not land as planned. The group therefore needs to programme each robot so that it finds its own destination on the comet. By doing so, the children get insights into topics that have come up through space travel and significantly influence our everyday lives.

How to join the camp

Each camp is a four-day programme from Tuesday to Friday and is best suited to children between 10 to 14 years old. All four days are full with programmes; the participants arrive at 8.30am in the morning and stay until 5pm in the afternoon. Up to 100 children can attend each camp. The camps are led by employees and students of ETH Zurich. Parents can sign up their children here and can also get reduced tickets with Kulturlegi

Professional practice: having fun counts the most!

Each season is a success, with hundreds of children learning to see the variety of MINT subjects of interest, and with camp graduates choosing to pursue MINT studies. The hands-on approach of the camp evokes reactions such as Joris’s: “First, the robot wasn’t programmed correctly, it was a defeat. But now everything is running perfectly, it’s a big success!” One parent commented: “The children learn that they do not just understand everything instantaneously and that solving problems can be challenging. During the camp week they had their success stories and I think that the mission is now fulfilled: they are very satisfied.”