CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, Ill. (WAND) - The Summer Youth Robotics Academy is underway in Champaign-Urbana.

The SYRA is hosted by a local robotics team called Ctrl-Z. It's a hands-on camp that gives kids the opportunity to make new friends, solve engineering challenges, make crafts and build robots.

"We teach them about robotics and how to do basic programming and mechanical things," explained Jonathan Lau, Ctrl-Z Community Outreach Coordinator. "We also do general STEM activities."

Crtl-Z makes it their effort to get out into the Champaign-Urbana community and teach kids and adults about STEM.

"Stuff (camp) like this is important to reach out to people who might not have the same opportunities that other people have," said Lau.

Robotics camps like SYRA gives campers the opportunity to experience STEM with their own hands and think about a possible career in the science, technology, engineering or mathematics field.

"It is important to start early because once you get into high school you might not have enough time to plan out the direction you want to take," explained Lau. "Getting these kids interested in STEM at an early age is very important."

The camp is for kids in grade 3-5. For more information about where the camp is held and the prices click here.