(Feb. 20, 2013) – Thanks to a generous $5,000 gift from the Terracon Foundation, 60 sixth grade students from Ronald E. McNair Middle School in Southwest Independent School District (SWISD) will be able to explore the exciting world of robotics next month during two free day-long camps coordinated by the UTSA College of Engineering's Interactive Technology Experience Center (iTEC) and the UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives.
The two Terracon robotics day camps, designed to introduce the middle school students to LEGO® robotics, will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mar. 11 and 12 at the UTSA Main Campus. Students will begin their day by building a standard robot. Then they will learn the programming skills necessary to make the robot move, turn and navigate through a course. Finally, students will add attachments to their robots in preparation for the grand finale: a Sumo Bot competition!
"We are pleased to receive this gift from the Terracon Foundation in support of iTEC at UTSA," said Can Saygin, UTSA mechanical engineering professor and iTEC center director. "Through this partnership, we are able to expose young minds to a bright future in science, technology, engineering and math. We are thankful that Terracon shares our vision to provide access to young students who might not otherwise have this opportunity to work alongside our engineering students and discover their maximum potential."
Established in 2007, iTEC's mission is to inspire youth by creating an environment where they can understand how science, technology, engineering and math shape our lives and the future of the world. Throughout the year, iTEC hosts camps and competitions for youth, teacher training workshops, and partners with school districts and other educational institutes across San Antonio to offer meaningful outreach activities for school-aged children.
"This collaborative project between UTSA and SWISD promotes active participation of students in scholastic settings to establish and enhance their desire to pursue higher education," says Keli J. Wilson, social worker at McNair Middle School. "We look forward to the success of this program during Spring Break and look forward to many more partnerships between younger students and those seeking higher degrees."
UTSA alumna and Terracon employee, Laura J. Campa, P.E., was instrumental in securing the gift for the camp. "The iTEC program will introduce STEM programs to minorities, including female students, in middle school which is the time when many students develop interest in these types of programs. Diversity in STEM programs and in technical professions is a challenge that firms like Terracon recognizes. UTSA is an amazing university that is working to position itself as a Tier One research facility."
Terracon is a dynamic and growing employee-owned nation-wide firm of consulting engineers and scientists providing geotechnical, environmental, construction materials, and facilities services to clients at local, regional, and national levels. For more information, visit http://www.terracon.com.
The UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives provides leadership to enable students to develop and complete their educational goals through collaborative partnerships with K-12, post-secondary institutions and from within the greater community. For more information, visit http://p20.utsa.edu.
For updates, visit the iTEC Facebook page.
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.