FAQs – Virtual Online Class

Q:  How does the class work?

A:  This isn’t just a presentation; this is interactive online learning! Students will be working with a live instructor as they complete a variety of STEM projects.  As such, they need to be able to see the instructor on Zoom video conferencing software as well as be able to work in a separate window on their own projects.  This can make the use of screen space on your computer and/or switching back and forth a bit of a challenge.

Q:  What materials will my child need?

A:  Here’s how it works… register for camp session you’d like for your child to attend and we’ll send you all the materials needed to attend the camp session pack them up and send them to you.  Once you’ve registered, we’ll send you all the materials needed to attend the camp session pack them up and send them to you.

Some strategies students have used include:

  1. Using the split screen function on their computer
  2. Joining the Zoom class through a desktop, tablet or iPad and using their computer exclusively to work on the projects.
  3. Support your child in their online learning by providing a quiet environment away from distractions.

See further information on these different strategies below in “Resources to Review” below.

Q:  How does my child ask for help?

A:  When you join the class, be sure to click “join with computer audio”.  You will need to have your microphone working in order to be able to speak with the instructor.  There is also a chat feature in Zoom where you can type questions or comments if your microphone is not working.  While our instructor is teaching, you can click “Raise Hand” in order to get their attention and ask a question. If at any point the instructor asks you to share your screen, be sure to click “Share Screen” and then “Desktop” so they can see what you are doing.

See the Zoom Cheat Sheet below in “Resources to Review” for more details.

Q:  Can I complete the Virtual STEM Camp on an iPad or tablet?

A:  We do not recommend using an iPad/tablet to work on STEM projects.  However, you may want to use an iPad to join the live class and leave your computer for working on the projects in order to help better manage your ability to work and listen/follow along with the instructor simultaneously.

Q:  Will my child be able to complete the course independently? Will they need parent assistance?

A:  Every child is different, so you are the best judge of this. If your child is very familiar with a computer they will need minimal support.  Children who regularly need support with things like logging in or typing when using a computer or who rarely use a computer will likely need more support from a parent/guardian.

We share a wealth of resources after you sign up and prior to the first class about the tools we will be using in the Virtual STEM Camp and how to get set up.  As this is most student’s first time with online learning, we highly recommend that all parents/guardians go through these resources together with their child prior to the first class so you are both familiar.  If you are able to, we also encourage parents/guardians to join their child’s first class for the first 20-30 minutes in order to get them off on the right foot.

In our experience, we have found that the majority of students are mostly independent by the end of the second class.  Any course related to computer coding is very dependent on typing.  Most students ages 10+ will be more than capable of participating fully in the course.  Students ages 8 & 9 who regularly use tools like Google Docs at school or regularly use a computer at home will experience few issues.  Younger students who frequently struggle with tasks including but not limited to finding letter keys on the keyboard may find this course to be too challenging.

Q:  What is RCW’s Cancellation Refund & Make-up Policy?

A:   If there are any changes to the recommendations of the state or health department that would allow in-person camp during the dates of your camp, your tuition can be applied to an in-person RCW camp or refunded.  For Virtual Camps Cancellations (other than the above) notice should be received 5 or more days prior to the start of camp will receive a RCW credit which can be applied to any future RCW programs.  Because of safety concerns materials kits are non-refundable ($25) after shipping or delivery to the camper.

⇒ After 5 days prior to the start of camp, Virtual Summer Camp is non-refundable.
⇒ All cancellations must be received in writing to accounting@robotcityworkshop.com.

⇒ RCW reserves the right to cancel any week of Virtual Summer Camp if minimum registration is not met.  You can either select a new session or receive a full refund minus $25 materials fee.

⇒ If your child is sick or misses a day, they can make up the missed project during the extended day weekend session the same summer week. If extended day is full, unfortunately it won’t be possible to do a make-up.

Q:  What do I need in order to join the Virtual STEM Camp?

A:  You just need a computer with an internet connection and audio capabilities (as in you can hear the instructor and you can ask questions to the instructor if needed).  Prior to the class, you will need to download Zoom video conferencing software. All logins/passwords, etc. will be provided to you as needed. 

Q:  What times do the classes run?

We are located in the Chicago, so all class times are based on CST/Mid-west time zone.  We offer class options in the afternoon from 12:00 – 2:00 and from 3:00 – 5:00.

 Resources to Review:

  1. Download Zoom ⇒ click here
  2. Zoom Cheat Sheet ⇒ View PDF
  3. Download Zoom on an iPad ⇒ View PDF (not recommended for class online activities)
  4. Split screen instructions for Mac (please note that this is an external website) ⇒ click here
  5. Split screen instructions for Windows (please note that this is an external website) ⇒ click here

Learning Platforms:

Students will need to have access to the following technology. These specifications will allow your student to access all of RCW learnning tools: * Desktop computer, Chromebook, Macs, with built-in-camera & microphone.

* 9-10″ screens

* Computer operating systems: Windows 7  but we recommend Windows 10.

* 4GB RAM

Support your child in their online learning by providing a quiet environment away from distractions.