At the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Orbitak International LLC sponsored an “activity station” for children and families as part of Automation Workz 2015. Automation Workz is an event organized by Uplift Inc. to raise awareness of advance manufacturing careers among parents and students. It is designed as an exploration workshop and collaboration space for families to have fun and learn about career opportunities. The event also featured guest speakers on technical education and career opportunities. In orbitak’s activity, children played a programming game called Cargo-Bot on iPads, competing in a scavenger hunt onto the exhibit floor to win cash prizes. Children applied and built upon skills in spatial reasoning, invention, and mathematics to learn about coding and advanced manufacturing. The CargoBot game and activity gave children a hands-on experience to learn similar skill used in programming for an application such as a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). The goal was to expose the audience to advanced manufacturing concepts that are at the foundation of the newer model for dual education apprenticeships.
“The key to learning to code is learning to think like a computer—which is a hard thing to do. “It requires structured thinking, ability to abstract details away, and there’s little margin for error—one little typo and your program might do something entirely different from what you wanted. The real world just doesn’t work like that, so it’s hard to get your head around it.”
Cargo Botgame developer Rui Viana.