(April 20, 2012) -- An elementary school student team from Aue Elementary and a middle school student team from a San Antonio-based home school were declared the winners at the 2012 Getting Excited About Robotics (GEAR) Competition Saturday, March 31 at the UTSA Convocation Center. Sponsored by Long John Silver's, Time Warner Cable, Valero Energy Corp., Lewis Energy and BP, the event was hosted by the Interactive Technology Experience Center (iTEC) in the UTSA College of Engineering.
The competition featured third through eighth graders divided into 119 teams, making GEAR one of the largest robotics competitions for children in the nation.
This year's event, "Power Up," challenged children to maintain the energy infrastructure of Energy Inc., a fictitious company created for the competition. Energy Inc. employees (competitors) worked with different sources of energy from traditional fossil fuels to green alternatives such as wind and hydroelectric energy. Students built and programmed robots using LEGO® Mindstorms® NXT robotics kits to complete their specific tasks at Energy Inc.
Two seeding rounds narrowed the field from 119 teams to 16. Then, the 16 semi-finalist teams were whittled down to eight and then to four. The final four in the elementary school division included three teams from Aue Elementary and a team from Roosevelt Elementary.
The final four in the middle school division included a home school team from San Antonio, a home school team from Boerne, TMI and Our Lady of Grace. But in the end, the finalist teams, Gatorbot Orange from Aue Elementary and Teckadon from the San Antonio-based home school team emerged victorious.
"GEAR not only allows students to make practical applications of what they learn in the classroom, but it is also fun," said Mauli Agrawal, dean of the UTSA College of Engineering. "The competitive spirit and talent of these future engineers was evident and we are so thankful for our sponsors who see the importance of getting the next generation excited about STEM."
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.
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.