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Young engineers will construct LEGO robots for competition in
camp tourneys

May 25 application deadline: Free robotics camps

By Christi Fish
Public Affairs Specialist

(May 18, 2009)--This summer, the Interactive Technology Experience Center (iTEC) at The University of Texas at San Antonio will offer two free robotics summer camps, giving Alamo City children the chance to escape the heat while learning about robot design, programming and teamwork.

The two-week camps, scheduled for 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m, Monday-Friday, at the UTSA Main Campus, are open to elementary and middle school students who have completed the third through eighth grades. While the camps are geared for all children, iTEC wishes to target those students that are "at risk" or those students with learning challenges.

The first session, June 15-26, is open to elementary school students who have completed grades three through six. The second session, June 29-July 10, is open to middle school students who have completed grades six through eight. Sixth grade students can attend either camp session.

On the first day of both camps, participants will be divided into groups of four and assigned a mentor who has competed in regional or international robotics competitions. Additionally, each group of students will receive access to a LEGO Mindstorms NXT robotics kit, which they will use to build and program a LEGO robot for some friendly end-of-camp competition.

There is no cost to attend UTSA's summer robotics camps. Applications will be taken until May 25. Space is limited and a $25 deposit per camper is required to reserve a space. The deposit, due by the first day of camp, is fully refundable on the last day of camp, provided the camper has attended 90 percent of his or her sessions.

Additionally, iTEC will provide a continental breakfast and a lunch to all camp participants. Parents need only register their children in advance and supply transportation each day to the UTSA Main campus.

>> Download a camp application at the UTSA College of Engineering Web site (Click on the summer robotics camp news headline). To learn more about the robotics camps, e-mail Moses Thompson, iTEC program manager, or Mary Stowers.

A four-year project established in 2007 with funding from the AT&T Foundation, iTEC seeks to inspire youth by helping them understand how engineering, science and technology shape our lives and the world. Focus areas include robotics, telecommunications, scanning electron microscope applications and design for manufacturing.

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