Camp Blackbaud: Robotics Edition

Written by Courtney Lorah

On November 29, 2016

The wonderful people at Blackbaud have always gone above and beyond for the students of Charleston Promise Neighborhood. This time, they have simply outdone themselves.

The traditional Camp Blackbaud, a two-day experiential learning intensive for 5th graders with a focus on coding, now has a continuum for its middle school counterparts; Camp Blackbaud: Robotics Edition. This hand-crafted pilot program is also a two-day field trip experience, located in the beautiful Blackbaud headquarters on Daniel Island.

Twenty middle school students from Sanders-Clyde and James Simons teamed up with enthusiastic Blackbaud employees as they unpacked the basics of robotics, built their own robot protoypes, and then presented their finished products to each other and other Blackbaud officials. Aside from the heavy technology focus, team-building, interpersonal, and presentation skills were also highlighted. This real-world application of STEM skills was profoundly effective for the students because, as one James Simons teacher stated, “They are hungry for it”.

Getting outside of the classroom and into a state-of-the-art facility to kinesthetically learn about STEM in an authentic way is an invaluable experience that will make long-lasting impressions on our students as they complete their years in middle/high school and choose a college or a career path in the near future. A teacher from Sanders-Clyde said she heard several students talk about wanting to go into the robotics field as a career choice, one of whom had never expressed interest in attending college prior to this experience.

The curriculum is intense, challenging, and engaging, but it would fall flat without the passion the Blackbaud employees continuously demonstrated as they work with our students, taught them about STEM skills, goal setting, and work ethic. Charleston Promise Neighborhood sincerely thanks Blackbaud for their unwavering support when it comes to amazing experiences for our students.

Blackbaud, you truly are keeping the Promise! 

To help more students have the opportunity to experience programs like this, click here.


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