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Introduction to STEM Fields Through Robotics: A Synergetic Learning Experience for Students and Their Parents

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Impact of Community Engagement on Communities

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.817.1 - 24.817.8



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Paper Authors


Gerardo J. Pinzon PE Texas A&M International University

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Mr. Pinzon is a STEM Advisor and Lab Manager at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU). He is currently a PhD Candidate at Texas A&M University at Kingsville (TAMUK). He holds a Masters of Environmental Engineering from TAMUK, A Masters of Business Administration from TAMIU and a Bachelors of Science from University of Texas at Austin. He is a Professional Engineer registered in the State of Texas.

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Jaime Rene Huerta

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Introduction to STEM Fields Through Robotics: A Synergetic Learning Experience for Students and Their ParentsAbstractThis work demonstrates the success of an initiative to promote Science, Technology,Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in this largely ______ community. An innovative methodof community involvement in the newly created Community Engagement Division, this programprovided an unique opportunity for both students and parents while developing STEMawareness. Through a synergetic summer learning experience, students and parents spent anentire weekend learning about STEM fields and participating in prepared exercises whilebonding in the experience of post-secondary life as they stayed in the university dormitories.This program is funded by Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs(GEAR UP), a federal discretionary grant awarded by the U. S. Department of Education.Designed to increase the enrollment of low-income students, while preparing them for success inpost-secondary education through a partnership grant between _____ and 19 school districtsthroughout the southern part of _____, covering approximately 14, 972 square miles.To enhance skills, motivation, and preparation, the _________ brought over 225 rising 9th gradestudents and one of their parents — for a total of 450 participants — over 4 weekend periods toparticipate in a Friday-Sunday STEM camp with an emphasis on robotics. The highlights of theSTEM workshop ranged from hardware and software programming of a LEGO robot toastronomy activities.Upon completion, the program’s evaluation demonstrated that nearly all participants agree orstrongly agree that they have gained knowledge, increased interest in secondary education,increased interest in post-secondary education, believe the learning goals of the program areimportant, and are eager to attend future GEAR UP events. These positive results encouragedevelopment of STEM programs within the community which will reciprocally benefit from itsyoung members’ advancement in these fields.

Pinzon, G. J., & Huerta, J. R. (2014, June), Introduction to STEM Fields Through Robotics: A Synergetic Learning Experience for Students and Their Parents Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20709

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