Rome (Italy). Don Bosco Summer Camp in Ladispoli, in St. John Bosco Province (IRO), this year participated with great enthusiasm in the proposal to visit the Amazon center in Passo Corese. The children visited the huge warehouse and participated in a robotics laboratory led by experts. They not only talked about robotics but saw a lot of people working with robots. They built a path with various materials for a small robot to pass on which they commanded through a program presented by the guide. They understood where the package mother ordered with just a click came from. An unusual trip but full of enthusiasm and new discoveries.
The sight of warehouse robots transporting shelves of products and conveyor belts which, like the rails of a train station, sort the parcels in the Amazon distribution center in Passo Corese (Rieti) immediately reminds the children of Don Bosco Salesian Oratory of Ladispoli, on the Roman coast, of being ‘in a playground’. They are visiting the Roman center of Amazon inaugurated in 2017, for an unusual summer camp based on robotics.
It is the first Italian stage of Amazon Lab, the Amazon initiative that includes a week of dissemination of the Stem disciplines, namely Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. “Entertaining. Can you order here too? Why are robots without arms and legs?”, about fifty children repeat their questions raised during the guided tour of the center, as big as nine football fields. They listen attentively and enjoy themselves, curious to understand the behind the scenes of a product ordered online: “They are digital natives and therefore very fascinated by technology”, explain Sister Nellina and Sister Letizia, who accompany the children on a visit.
Accustomed to dealing with the creation of small Etruscan vases in ceramic workshops, instead for a day, the children become protagonists of robotics experiments. “We teach them to put together the information they have heard on self-driving cars and robots to help humanity, by showing them how to plan and maneuver small two-wheeled robots,” explains the scientific educator, Gabriele Piersimoni, who introduces the children into the world of robotics and automation. “Our goal – he concluded – is to teach in an engaging and entertaining way. It is the best way to learn”.