Blog: Bright Ideas

Behind the major: Robot Pet

Innovation is at the heart of Galileo Summer Quest, with a constantly-evolving series of majors designed to inspire every camper to be visionary, courageous, collaborative, determined, and reflective. We sat down with Lance Akiyama—Galileo’s science curriculum manager and one of the brains behind the brand new Robot Pet major—to get his take on this one-of-a-kind experience.

What do you love about this major?

I love how much personality I was able to give my robot pets, even with pretty simple materials and equipment.

What are you most excited about for this major?

It's totally new! We’ve already tested this major with a small group of campers, and they came up with some amazing ideas. I really can't wait to see all the robot pets campers will create this summer.

What unique FEATURES doES this major bring to the table that Galileo Summer Quest hasn't offered before?

This is the first and only GSQ major that combines elements of tech and building. Programming, electronics, and hot glue construction—Robot Pet has it all.

What will be the most exciting thing for campers? The most challenging?

The most exciting AND challenging is the electronics and programming. It's all very precise, and it may seem a little daunting at first. But once you understand the basics, it unlocks a world of possibilities. The delightful payoff of making your robot behave the way you want is so worth it.

How will campers practice the Galileo Innovation Approach in this major?

All the mindsets! It'll definitely take some courage to dive into learning about the electronics and programming, and then you'll need to be visionary right away to imagine your robot pet before getting started. Having a collaborative attitude will help everyone get their robots finished and working. Being determined will help you push through your challenges and strive to get a working robot by the end of the week, and on Friday it's important to reflect on your work and add any finishing touches that will really leave an impact on those who encounter your pet.

Sure, the projects campers tackle at Galileo Summer Quest are awesome. But the innovation skills they build? They’re absolutely extraordinary.