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.
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
- 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: June 11, 2014