Youth in Leominster, Worcester, Framingham, Quincy and Milford spent part of their summer learning about dogs and dogbots (dog robots) as part of a special 4-H summer series. The sessions were led by 4-H STEM Ambassadors, college students employed by 4-H for the summer. Several of the STEM Ambassadors are computer science majors and one was an alumnus of a 4-H Robotics Club.
The summer series, Dogs and Dogbots, introduced participants to the technology all around them starting with the use of virtual reality goggles. They learned about computer programming using Scratch, a simple drop and drag program. A special visitor appeared as part of the program; a real dog performing agility tricks gave participants ideas about the kinds of things they could program their dogbot robots to do. Finally, youth programed their dogbots to go through an obstacle course and do other specific tasks.
This program was sponsored by the UMass Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, the Massachusetts 4-H Foundation, Main Street Bank and Google.