Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Kids to build LEGO robots for UTSA robotics competition March 31

LEGO robot

LEGO robot photo from Mario Ferrari's Personal Web Pages

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(March 21, 2012) -- The Interactive Technology Experience Center (iTEC) in the UTSA College of Engineering will present the 2012 Getting Excited About Robotics (G.E.A.R.) Competition from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., Saturday, March 31 at the Convocation Center on the UTSA Main Campus. People of all ages are welcome to observe the robotics competition free of charge.

UTSA's G.E.A.R. is one of the largest domestic robotics competitions for youths in the United States. The annual robotics competition motivates third through eighth graders to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by offering engaging, interactive, hands-on activities that build technical skills and foster critical thinking, self-confidence, communication and leadership.

This year's event, "Power Up," challenges children to maintain the energy infrastructure of Energy Inc., a fictitious company created for the competition. Energy Inc. employees (competitors) will work with different sources of energy from traditional fossil fuels to green alternatives such as wind and hydroelectric energy. Students will build and program robots using LEGO® Mindstorms® NXT robotics kits to complete specific tasks at Energy Inc.

The G.E.A.R. competition is sponsored by Time Warner Cable, Valero Energy Corp., Lewis Energy, BP and Long John Silver's restaurants. More than 1,600 people are expected to attend including 119 teams of third through eighth grade competitors. In the past, competitors have come from as far as the Midland-Odessa area, Eagle Pass and Houston.

"The G.E.A.R. competition is the ideal platform to pique young students' interest in the STEM areas," said Mauli Agrawal, dean of UTSA College of Engineering. "We are grateful for the support of our sponsors who see the importance in fostering children's curiosity and interest in these fields through interactive applications."

iTEC's mission is to inspire youth by creating an environment where they can understand how engineering, science, mathematics and technology shape our lives and the future of our world. The center's focus areas include robotics, alternative energy, manufacturing, space science, aeronautics, environmental science, geology and forensics.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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