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NTU EEE first ever winter camp for students – ESCENDO 2018

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NTU EEE organised a winter camp titled “ESCENDO” for the very first time in January. The one-of-a-kind camp was open to all undergraduates (from Year 1 to Year 4)! The purposes of the camp were to instill knowledge into the students, as well as to give them exposure to potential employers. The 4-day-3-night camp was organised jointly by EEE Club and Garage@EEE on 9-12 January 2018.

The comprehensive aims of the camp organisers towards the different groups of students were as follows:

ESCENDO camp targeted Year 1 students, the reason being that apart from orientation camps, ESCENDO was another platform for NTU EEE students to get to know one another, as well as learn additional relevant course skills. The camp targeted the Year 2 students, by letting them embrace their compulsory Design & Innovation Project (DIP) as a NTU EEE student. The Arduino Programming workshop included in ESCENDO kick-started them to learn new knowledge, and which is an essential for DIP.

Year 3 and Year 4 students were targeted to join ESCENDO as well: to expose them to more industry companies, get to know more about what to expect for their upcoming Professional Internship, and to meet and understand more potential employers!

The camp facilitated around 80 NTU EEE students to attend hands-on workshops and visit industries! The workshops were: Fusion360, Arduino Programming, printed circuit board milling and structural design. Some industries visited were: Infineon, Sony, Thales, Micron, Globalfoundries and more. The students also got to take part in a Hackathon. The Escendo camp concluded with participants showcasing their completed and unique make-a-thon games at the first-ever NTU arcade games carnival!

For the carnival, the games featured included: Basketball, Chop Chop, Tap Tap, Math, Bobo Shooter, Candy Rush, Troll the Fruit and Race Car. In addition, 3 other games featured were made previously by the Garage@EEE members, they were: Battlefield, Egg Roll and Coin Dozer. On the carnival day, there was a steady flow of public members who took part in the games and were more interested in the students’ creations, rather than the prizes to be won.

We find out more from ESCENDO camp’s publicity members, Ms Elaine Chong and Ms Jasmine Lee about the preparations and outcomes achieved:

1) Give us some background to this camp, what were the main goals of organisers?
"The goals of the organisers were to improve the skills bank of undergraduates through a fun approach! This included teaching them skills beyond the classrooms, through hands-on workshops instead, such as Arduino Programming. The organisers also wanted to expose the students to the industry such as the requirements of a graduate and also the various internship opportunities available."  

2) What were the preparations made for ESCENDO – equipment & technologies? Who were involved in organising?
“There were many technologies involved in this camp, mainly Arduino programming. Before the actual camp, there were some arcade games built by group leaders during a trial camp, as well as by the Garage@EEE ambassadors. Since we were creating arcade games, there was not only the technological aspect involved, aesthetics was also essential. Through the trial camp, the organisers had a gauge of the amount of logistics involved so that sufficient materials were prepared for the Make-a-thon during the actual ESCENDO camp. This was critical as the organisers did not want logistics to be a limitation for the creativity of the participants!

The main organisers were EEE Club and Garage@EEE. The whole ESCENDO camp involved a total of 60 students from the main committee, sub-committee, and group leaders.”

3) Any interesting facts to mention?
“It was exciting to see how ideas from different people fused together and brought everyone’s childhood arcade games to another level from scratch. For example, integrating current mobile game ideas together with childhood arcade games and cartoons! It was also electrifying to witness collaborations between EEE and IEM students throughout the camp.

One of the main highlights of the camp was the arcade arena. On the last day, the participants had to present their arcade games – which they had worked on overnight as a team together with our technical specialists – to the public at the Market Place, located at north spine. The whole arcade arena was built and set up by the organisers themselves and with the combination of pre-camp and actual camp DIY arcade games, we managed to draw a big crowd!”

4) What takeaways were learnt by participants?
“One of the main lessons that was learnt by the participants was how they can apply skills learnt in school and use them together with the soft skills taught during the workshop, and materialise them into physical products, which was evident by the arcade games the participants created. For example, in NTU EEE, we are taught how to do basic programming and certain physics knowledge, so for the camp, participants got to apply light dependent resistor works knowledge and create games with the help of Arduino.

Participants also had insights of the industry! Through talks at the various companies, the participants get a better understanding of the required skills. This provides an opportunity for them to think ahead about the career especially their specialisation.”

5) Any other interesting information to highlight?
“This is the first time that ESCENDO winter camp was organised and it served as a good platform for learning; for students who are interested in technology but think that they lack the skills to embark on large projects. This is one of the reasons we had a group of trainers that supported the participants. Through events like these, the organisers hope that we had sparked the interest of the participants, and that they go on to carry the spirit of learning and making.”

​​​​Read the Media Report (Lianhe Zaobao, 21 Mar 2018) - NTU EEE students make cardboard arcade games come to life at NTU camp​  


Published on: 23 March 2018 

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