Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Gatorbot Orange and Teckadon win annual UTSA robotics competition

LEGO robot

LEGO robot photo from Mario Ferrari's Personal Web Pages

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(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.

 

 

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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Labor Day Holiday

All campuses will be closed for the Labor Day holiday.
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Sept. 9, 5:30 p.m.

Architecture Connects

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series begins Sept. 9 with Toshiko Mori, the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and principal of Manhattan-based Toshiko Mori Architect.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Sept. 12, 11 a.m.

UTSA Football vs. Kansas State

Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.

Sept. 15, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

Changing the Conversation: Recovery Works!

As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

The Power of Story in the Landscape of Memory and Identity

The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus


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