Texas A&M University-Kingsville

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Goals

This project aims to prepare undergraduate students for the contemporary robotics field and for thegraduate studies by developing a laboratory-based competition-driven two-semester robotics curriculum. The undergraduate learning experience will be enhanced through college and high school level peermentoring activities with the joint efforts of the Departments of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) by developing a new outreach model to attract underrepresented groups to the engineering fields.

Objectives

The objectives of this project can be itemized as follows:   

  • Develop multidisciplinary robotics projects that have practical importance by participating in the IEEE Region 5 student robotics competition,   
  • Through lectures based on the robotics competition projects, equip students with contemporary knowledge,   
  • Through projects done in laboratories, increase the true hands-on student learning  experience and enhance their conceptual understanding,   
  • Through multidisciplinary robotics projects, Increase students’ ability, competency and teamwork skills on dealing with real-life engineering problems,   
  • Apply multidisciplinary active learning components to robotics education during course  module development,   
  • Achieve learning objectives for students with weaker science and mathematics background in an interdisciplinary course through hands-on interactive laboratory based approach,   
  • Investigate the effect of educational factors used in this project in terms of student learning, 
  • Integrate  college  and  high-school  level  peer-mentoring  activities  to  attract  underrepresented students to engineering fields   

Outcomes:   

  • This project will attract more Hispanic students to engineering fields. Contemporary applications, hands-on engineering design experience and teamwork in the proposed robotics  course will excite a number of students. Moreover, the college- and high-school level mentoring as well as outreach activities will connect many more potentially promising students to engineering fields. Since TAMUK is a Hispanic Serving Institution and the South Texas  area is predominantly Hispanic, this project will have a lasting impact for this group of underrepresented students.   
  • The project will attract more high-school students to engineering and robotics fields. The peer- mentoring activities during the high school competitions will create a more friendly atmosphere, will enhance the learning experience via hands-on and real-life applications and will present role models for the potentially promising high school students
  • More undergraduate students with different background will consider these courses as electives, improving the engineering exposure to the student body. The hands-on, competition driven and multi-disciplinary nature of the robotics courses along with college level mentoring  via robotics club will appeal many undergraduates with different backgrounds and interests
  • Higher number of industry and government officials will be involved with the TAMUK  robotics program. The IEEE Region 5 competition involvement will expose the robotics  curriculum to broader  group  of  officials  interested  in  engineering  and  robotics  in  particular.  The  TAMUK robotics team will interact with other teams and industry sponsors during the competition. Thus, this interaction is expected to open new avenues of collaboration and information exchange.
  • Better project skills will be attained by the students through interdisciplinary team projects. The successful robot design will require efficient project management, leadership, problem  solving, communication and documentation skills. Students will exercise all these conditions during the design and improve their project skills.
  • The student theoretical knowledge in robotics field and student intellectual levels will extensively be improved at the end of the project. The robotics curricula utilize a number of  supporting engineering fields to achieve its own goals. Thus, successful robot design will indicate increased knowledge, design and project management skill levels in robotics field. Moreover, the student competency  on  contemporary  software  and  hardware  tools  will  also  increase.  Challenging competition environment, demanding project guidelines and timeline, and teamwork will enable students to develop their intellectual levels.
  • The students will improve their perceptions about the robotics field. All students will  associate robotics to many social, economical, environmental real-life phenomena such as helping injured people  in  hostile  environments,  developing  tools  to  offer  fun  and  educational  engineering activities. Thus, robotics will present possible solutions to wide variety  of concerns, implying a viable scientific field as well as improved perceptions by students.
  • The ranking and importance of various STEM learning factors will be established. Ranging from active learning component to peer-mentoring activities, a number of educational factors will affect student STEM learning effectiveness and they will be analyzed in detail.   •    The faculty teaching effectiveness will be improved positively by promoting learning and teaching during the project. The faculty will prepare the fundamental course modules, will  interact with students during lecture and laboratory teaching and will exchange educational and scientific ideas and  methods.  Thus, student  ratings  of  the project are expected  to  demonstrate  continuous improvement of faculty teaching effectiveness.

This page was last updated on: November 26, 2012