Campbellsville University hosts Bot Camp during first week of June

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A group of students participate in the BOT Camp at Campbellsville University. (CU Photo by Joshua Williams)

By Ryan Kearney, student intern writer and Amber Meade, Communications Assistant, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “Once the students can understand programming on a basic level, then they can expand upon it to the ways it is used in the industry,” Dr. Vincent Scovetta, associate professor of computer science at Campbellsville University, said.

Scovetta was one of the professors helping with Campbellsville University’s Inaugural Summer Honors Academic Robotic Event or “Bot Camp,” during which 30 top achieving high school juniors explored the fields of computer science and robotics.

The week-long experiential learning event was established to offer students the opportunity to dive into the world of robotics while also placing the study of computer science at Campbellsville University as an option in their future.

Scovetta explained how the students were working together to give their kit basic programming commands and this would act as a stepping stone to more complex projects.

Ryan Rakes, a senior of Lebanon, Ky., said, “I’ve learned about how emphasizing various types of programming sets everything up and can let anybody work with robots.”

Clayton Tungate, also of Lebanon, said his favorite experience was “getting to build with the kit and learning how it’s set up.”

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Vedant Patel tests his team’s robotic car the day before the BOT competition at Campbellsville University. (CU Photo by Joshua Williams)

A seminar for the students was held on June 5 where the goal was to provide them with knowledge from people who work in careers they might someday choose to pursue.

One of the keynote speakers during the seminar was Nathan Shewmaker, general manager of engineering and maintenance at Toyota Gosei Kentucky. He said his goal was to help people through mechanical engineering. He told the campers, “I saw a future of diversified education.” Each time there was an advancement in technology, he knew he must educate himself on the topic.

Edson Wellmann, senior manager of D.I.B.S. Technology Solutions Teleperformance, said at the seminar, “If you don’t prepare yourself, you’re going to be left aside.” He encouraged the students to continue to broaden their learning horizons to keep up with the newer skills.

Angie Miller, general manager administrations at Murakami Manufacturing USA, spoke on behalf of Michael Rodenberg, who is the president/CEO of the company. Rodenberg wrote to the campers, “With whatever you choose to do, always look five and ten years ahead.” He challenged them to be learners and to never stop aspiring to be what they want to be.

The culmination of the week’s events was a time trial competition meant to display each team’s autonomous vehicle’s capability to successfully navigate an obstacle course.

The competition took place the last day of camp in the Powell Athletic Center on the university’s campus. There were six teams of three that competed to win $100 Amazon gift cards donated by Amazon. The teams had to complete four exercises on the “Tiger Town” track, which were line tracking, remote control, obstacle avoidance and picking up a toy tiger and depositing it elsewhere on the Tiger Town track. Whichever team completed the events in the shortest amount of time were the winners.

The six teams were the Bengal Tiger Team consisting of Colin McDonough, Tate Molnar and Jaden Wattley; the Indochinese Tiger Team consisting of Clayton Tungate, Vedant Patel and Christopher Hodges; the Malaysian Tiger Team consisting of Kevin Lawrence, Kenneth Layne and Teagan Bradshaw; the Siberian Tiger Team consisting of Grant Setliff, Alen Coleman and Shaun Sargent; the South China Tiger Team consisting of Liam Patel, Arya Pallavarapu and Ian Killian; and the Sumatran Tiger Team consisting of Haley Carter, Emily Mason and Destiny Beams.

The winners of the Amazon gift cards were the Malaysian Tiger Team, which was Kevin Lawrence, Kenneth Layne and Teagan Bradshaw.

“This has been the best, without a doubt, competition I have ever done. These kids are so talented,” Scovetta said.

“Throughout the week I could see the healthy competition. It wasn’t ‘I’m going to destroy you,’ but rather, ‘look what I can do.’ It warms my heart.”

For more information, contact Dr. Vincent Scovetta at vascovetta@campbellsville.edu.

Campbellsville University is a widely-acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 12,000 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The university has off-campus centers in Kentucky cities Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset, Hodgenville and Liberty with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.

Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Campbellsville University.