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Kids and Robots for the Creek

Kuriosity Robotics Club Jumps in with Both Hands and Feet for Coyote Creek

By Deb Kramer

Group photo after a successful cleanup. Photo by Kenneth Rosales

At our June cleanup, a new group showed up. The Kuriosity Robotics Club. Hmmm…where did they come from and how did they hear about our efforts? Turns out that one of the parents had been to another cleanup and wanted his kids and friends’ kids to parttake in this fun activity.

So, Son Lam and 10 other adults and kids joined in the cleanup, where we removed over 3 tons of trash with a scrappy group of 55 people. While the kids were working, Kenneth Rosales, one of our Team Leaders, spoke with the kids and heard some eye-opening thoughts from them.

After the cleanup, Son and I discussed the concept of the kids building a robot related to trash collection and awareness. The next week, he called and said the kids were ready to share their ideas! Wow, they work quickly.

The club consists of seven kids who are middle-school aged. They are like typical kids, in that they play sports (Chi plays tennis, Sam likes baseball and soccer, and Tom enjoys basketball), like school (computer science and social science), and have trouble sitting still in a room in the library when the weather outside is sunny and 80.

Club Members share their robot ideas along Coyote Creek Trail. Photo by Deb Kramer.

Anyway, they presented their idea, which involves using Legos to build robots that include coding, sensors, and mechanical engineering. Remember, they are in middle school! We talked about the way to put the least amount of trash in the landfill by composting and recycling. The first step in the challenge is to design a container that would address this, which I saw. Next step is to create the robot to address multiple challenges.

We discussed creating a robot that can go on the trails when we conduct outreach who would allow us to put trash in the appropriate containers and give the person a reward. The fact that their robot would be publicly visible to many people in San Jose gave them a boost.

And, in case you were wondering, they came up with the name based on “K” for kids combined with “Curiosity”, the little robot roving around Mars. “Klever”!


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