DMA SUCCESS STORY: Robot-Builder Juan Rafael Lenger-Caballero

By Phill Powell

We first met our latest DMA Success Story, Juan Rafael Lenger-Caballero, in 2014, the first time he attended a robotics camp at DMA.

He enjoyed our beginning robotics course so much at that time that he returned in 2015.

DMA_2015_student_Juan
He liked DMA so much that he came back for more!

Again he attended one of our tech camps at Harvard, but this time, he got a double shot of cool tech education: two weeks at DMA!

During the last week of July, at our robotics camps, he transitioned from the NXT line to learning LEGO EV3, LEGO’s latest triumph.

Then he capped off his summer in mid-August with a great week at DMA’s rocket science tech camps, which further encouraged his love of learning about engineering. Juan Rafael already dreams of becoming a mechanical and robotics engineer who will help solve many global problems!

I would like my friends to have the awesome and exciting learning experience I had here. I had a blast!
– DMA Repeat Robotics Student Juan Rafael Lenger-Caballero

Back at home, Juan Rafael is a member of his current school’s Student Council, the Newspaper Club and the Drama Club. He is also the youngest member of the Arlington (Mass.) Library’s Teen Writers Group. This multifaceted kid loves to read, write and draw, as well as swim and play soccer.

And we don’t know if it has anything to do with his experience at DMA, but the 11-year-old from Arlington, Massachusetts has been crushing it at school – chalking up great grades (e.g., A to A+) and performing spectacularly on academic performance tests. A recent computerized adaptive math test indicated this 6th-grader is working at a 12th-grade level!

Check out his thoughts about attending DMA last summer:

THE DMA INTERVIEW: ROBOTICS STUDENT JUAN RAFAEL LENGER-CABALLERO

Juan, what did you actually create at DMA tech camp?
A LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robot that can perform different challenges. That was in the first summer course that I attended at DMA. I had lots of fun programming and coding my robot to do challenges and at the end, to do battle with other bots.

Sounds like you had big fun, but you also picked up some skills?
We learned many coding techniques and used different kind of extra arms and sensors for different missions. We designed, customized and built our very own unique robots.

Awesome! And what did you do during your second week of camp this summer?
I also attended a rocket science and engineering summer course. We learned many things, such as how to build space ships, and reviewed reports on lunar space crafts. We also used Kerbal Space Program to experience how it would be to design and launch a space craft. We even built solar-panel cars and made stable and sturdy bridges out of various materials. Overall, I had a lot of fun at my two courses at DMA.

How exactly did it make you feel when you completed your final project?
I felt very good when I finally finished my last challenge: line following and Battle Bots Arena. I was very excited when I got 2nd Place in the Battle Bots Arena – especially after having competed against more than 15 other robots!

Congrats! So what do you think were the most fun things about attending DMA tech camp?
Learning so many skills, and learning how to code and program robots. Also, I enjoyed making new friends and playing with them in the big Harvard Yard, where we used to have lunch and snacks.

DMA_robot_challenge
Here Juan Rafael is lined up with other robot makers. He really enjoyed the Battle Bots Arena.

Did you make friends at DMA camp this summer?
Yes. I made many friends and I had a lot of fun spending time and designing robots with them. I made at least five very good friends that were all very nice.

Super! Do you think you’ll use what you learned at DMA back at your regular school?
I will definitely use my knowledge of coding for future activities. DMA is where I learned to code and this will come in very handy later in my life when I become a teenager and an adult, since programming is the future! I recently applied some of what I have learned while participating in a Robotics LEGO League team coached by the MIT Lincoln Lab!

Would you like to come back to a DMA tech camp next summer?
Yes. I not only learned but had fun while attending DMA camps.

Would you suggest DMA tech camps to your best friends and their parents?
I would like my friends to have the awesome and exciting learning experience I had here. I had a blast!

Were your parents pleased with your DMA experience?
They liked how much I enjoyed learning in a fun way, and that I made many new friends.

DMA_robotics_student_Juan
If Juan keeps performing off-the-charts academically, he may attend Harvard again…as an undergrad!

BUILD YOUR PERFECT SUMMER!

You can tell that Juan Rafael gets a lot out of attending Digital Media Academy tech camps. Maybe this summer you should check it out and see why kids (and their parents) are thrilled with DMA’s hands-on tech instruction and fun and supportive atmosphere?

With more than 25 tech camp locations in the U.S. and Canada, Digital Media Academy has been building the perfect summer camp experience for 15 years – and this year is already shaping up to be our best and biggest camp season yet.

This is the perfect time to register for camp. DMA Spring Savings are still in effect.

Discover our camps, courses and academies and you’ll see why our students want to come back to DMA again and again!

Special thanks to DMA’s Rachelle Harding for coordinating this interview!