Lego Leagues or Robotics for Kids Programs in This Area?

My youngest son is interested in most things electronic.   I recently looked back at the blog I wrote a couple years ago and I laugh.   I remember that time.   My little guy was only 4 and his Christmas list consisted of a long list of toys and, of all things, an extension cord.   Vividly, I remember our son telling us that, even though we didn't want him to have an extension cord, Santa would see the list and give him one anyway.

(Santa proved him wrong!)

Well, it's been two years and my son still likes playing with cords (!) - and he will jump at the chance to participate in anything to do with motors, connecting cords to electronics, putting things together, and all loud things that scare his mom!  I doubt he will put anything as unusual as an extension cord on a Christmas list again.  However, I am certain that his interest in electronics will always stay with him.

This summer, Discovery World held an electronic robot Lego League camp.  This camp (which is a small fortune) teaches robotics to kids using a Lego product called Lego Mindstorms.  Because the Discovery World camps are for 7 years and older - I wasn't able to get my little guy (who's 6 years old) in the camp (yet).  But my older son did go.

Basically, this camp teaches kids to put together electronic robots.  Once the robot is together, the kids are then taught the basic computer programming skills required to move the robots and various challenges for the robots.  This was such a fun and rewarding experience for the kids!   Even my older son - who isn't really interested in building things but does enjoy computers and any kind of challenge - loved it. 

Now I have two wishes:

Next year - somehow - I'd like to sign my little guy up for this camp - just to see the excitement on his face.  The camp is expensive - but hopefully we can swing the price and hopefully it will be worth it.

Even more so - next year or a year or two after, it would be nice if Cudahy - or somewhere close - had something like this - some kind of "robotics for young kids" program.  I'm not sure if there would be much demand for a program like this.  However, I'm sure I don't have the only child who has a passion for taking things apart and learning how things work.  Plus, a program like this may redirect a child (my son) away from doing something CRAZY - like attempting to rewire our house when we're not looking! 

(This thought currently terrifies the life out of me!)

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