(Oct. 28, 2010)--The University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Texas at Austin will partner on a three-year, $474,000 National Science Foundation grant to help teach basic computer programming skills to middle school and high school students through computer games on popular hand-helds.
The Programming Standing Up project will be led by Matthew Berland, UTSA assistant professor of interdisciplinary learning and teaching, and Taylor Martin, UT Austin associate professor of curriculum and instruction.
The professors will design a soccer application called IPRO that can be played on an Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Students will construct the behavior of a robot player on a virtual soccer field by using a simplified visual programming language that will create programs in less than a minute.
"Many students feel computer science and engineering can be isolating, but this application will allow students to play the game simultaneously and interact socially as they share and build programs together," said Berland. "We are trying to leverage sociality -- really make it inherent to the experience as students work together to build better programs."
Berland plans to build on the local robotic competitions and camps gaining in popularity by introducing IPRO to students in the sixth through 12th grades.
"These students will benefit by learning the core competencies and core concepts of programming at a young age," Berland said. "It would be great if this project could help generate more student interest in the fields of computer science and engineering."
Berland joined UTSA in 2009. He received his doctoral degree in learning sciences from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
The UTSA College of Education and Human Development is the leading provider of educators in the San Antonio area and one of the largest in Texas. Ranked third in the United States as producer of teacher-education degrees for Hispanics, the college is responsible for innovative research and grants in professional development, technology enhancement, health, school readiness, and bi-national and bicultural issues.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.