What can robots do? Spark excitement about engineering

<p>The capabilities of robots have increased dramatically in recent decades. Advances in robotics have made the machines essential to modern manufacturing, space travel, transportation, security systems, communications and more – even housecleaning.</p><separator></separator><p>Robots are also being proven especially useful in performing another important feat: getting young students interested in science, engineering and mathematics.</p><separator></separator><p>That’s demonstrated each year when the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University organize and host a statewide robotics competition for Arizona middle school students.</p><separator></separator><p>As many as 400 youngsters ages 9 to 14 come to ASU’s Tempe campus to participate in a state championship tournament in early December. There they demonstrate the capabilities of robots they’ve designed, programmed and built using LEGO MINDSTORMS robotics kits.</p><separator></separator><p>Schools from throughout Arizona begin registering teams in May for each year’s <a href="http://azfll.asu.edu">FIRST LEGO League</a> season of competitive events.</p><separator></separator><p>For more information, contact ASU K-12 outreach coordinator Patty Smith at Pfsmith4@asu.edu</p><separator></separator><p>The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering also offer <a href="http://engineering.asu.edu/roboticscamp/">robotics summer camps</a> for middle school and high school students, as well as a camp for teachers who teach middle school and high school computer science courses or coach school robotics clubs.</p><separator></separator><p>The camp is directed by Yinong Chen, a lecturer in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering.</p><separator></separator><p>Chen’s knowledge of robotics is highlighted in the article <a href="http://www.bearessentialnews.com/feature-stories.php"&gt;“The nuts and bolts (and sensors) of robots”</a> in <a href="http://www.bearessentialnews.com/about-bear-essential.php">Bear Essential News For Kids</a>, an Arizona publication designed to encourage children to develop their skills and creativity.</p>