High School Students Get Up Close with Robots
January 12, 2011 | UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS
On Jan. 8, students from 10 high schools in El Paso, Van Horn, Lubbock and Las Cruces participated in the kickoff for the F.I.R.S.T. Robotics Competition (FRC) at The University of Texas at El Paso.
F.I.R.S.T. – For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – is a national organization aimed at inspiring young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation and foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication and leadership.
The event, hosted for the first time at UTEP, kicked off a six-week competition in which students from participating high schools will develop robots.
"This is an excellent opportunity for the students involved to get really hands on with robots, and take a closer look at technology, inspiring them to pursue the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in the future," said Michael Acosta, director of the Border Office of the U. S. - Mexico Foundation for Science (FUMEC) and a member of the F.I.R.S.T. in Texas Advisory Board.
Each student team received a tool kit, complete with chassis, wheels and pertinent electronic components, in order to develop a robot. They had one day to complete the initial construction of their machine. In the next six weeks, they will fine tune their robots and enter them in a statewide competition.
Along with nearly 200 participants and volunteers, including funding partner Time Warner, students from multiple STEM departments at UTEP were on hand to provide mentoring and assistance.
"The event will both encourage high school students, as well as prepare our students at UTEP, as they enter different fields in STEM education," said Virgilio Gonzalez, Ph.D., senior lecturer of computer and electrical engineering. "This will benefit everyone.
Originally posted on News @ UTEP.