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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.



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

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

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

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

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

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.

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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.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

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