(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.
UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.
For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.
Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.
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