2010 G.E.A.R. competition, dubbed “Up and Atom,” challenges kids to build and program robots for specific tasks using Legos® and other household items
Competition made possible by a multi-year, $1.5 million
AT&T Foundation grant
(San Antonio) … Through the generous support of the AT&T Foundation, The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is pleased to present the 2010 Getting Excited About Robotics (G.E.A.R.) Competition. The spirited robotics competition, organized by the Interactive Technology Experience Center in UTSA’s College of Engineering, is expected to draw more than 2,500 people, including 650 third through eighth grade competitors representing 130 teams. See photos from prior competitions.
G.E.A.R. will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, March 27 in the Convocation Center on UTSA’s Main Campus, One UTSA Circle, in San Antonio. All ages are welcome to attend and observe the event.
The annual G.E.A.R. robotics competition motivates young people to pursue careers in engineering by demonstrating advanced technologies and engaging them in interactive, hands-on activities that build technical skills and foster critical thinking, self-confidence, communication and leadership.
This year’s competition, themed “Up and Atom,” is a tribute to the Hadron Collider, a sophisticated tool used to research atoms, their structure and the development of new materials. At Saturday’s competition, teams will unleash their robots to interact with “atoms” and “ions” (balls and washers) of various sizes and types. Sample challenges include injecting “ions” and removing “protons” from plasma flow containers, retrieving “top quarks” and removing defective magnets. All rounds of “Up and Atom” will take place under timed conditions on four-foot by eight-foot obstacle course-style playing fields featuring baskets, hollow containers, flag arms and PVC piping.
UTSA College of Engineering Dean Mauli Agrawal believes “Up and Atom” is a great way to engage kids in the STEM areas—science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“Through hands-on outreach activities like the annual G.E.A.R. Competition, our summer robotics camps and virtual class field trips, our Interactive Technology Experience Center lets kids experience how fun STEM can be. Because we have strong support from the AT&T Foundation, we have been able to capture kids at an early age and train them to think creatively and work collaboratively, just as engineers do on a daily basis. The best part is that many of the kids we’re reaching are in San Antonio’s most disadvantaged areas – kids who would not otherwise have been offered the opportunity to explore robotics. We are very grateful to the AT&T Foundation for its support in establishing and funding iTEC these past three years.”
“We’re pleased this gift has helped to create this interactive technology experience for students,” said Michael Antieri, senior vice president, AT&T Application Solutions. “Interest and enrollment in engineering has decreased over the recent years and the hope is for this program to attract students, once again to engineering, mathematics and science.”
AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc., supports programs that build communities and improve access to information technologies, technology training and professional skills development. AT&T Inc. is one of the world’s largest telecommunications holding companies and is the largest in the United States.
Opening ceremonies for Saturday’s “Up and Atom” robotics competition are slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. and the first round of competition will begin at 9. Throughout the day, participants will compete in seed rounds, culminating in quarter-finalist, semi-finalist and finalist rounds. Champions will be named at the 4 p.m. award ceremony.
Visitors who plan to attend “Up and Atom” should park in the unmarked spaces in Parking Lot 5, adjacent to Edward Ximenes Ave. and UTSA Blvd. See map.
# # #
Note to Media: More than 2,500 attendees are expected to attend “Up and Atom,” including the competitors and their coaches, teachers, families and friends. Members of the media may take photos, shoot video and conduct interviews throughout the day.
Media are requested to park in the 24-hour reserved spaces closest to the Convocation Center. No permit is needed. Take I-10 Blvd. toward Loop 1604. Before the loop, exit UTSA Blvd. Turn right at Edward Ximenes Ave. Follow Edward Ximenes into campus until it veers to the left. The Convocation Center will be on your right and 24 hour reserved parking spaces will be on your left.
About UTSA’s Interactive Technology Experience Center
Housed in UTSA’s College of Engineering, the Interactive Technology Experience Center is a four-year project that began in 2007 with funding provided by the AT&T Foundation. ITEC's mission is to inspire youth by creating an environment where they can understand how engineering, science and technology shape our lives and the future of our world. The center's areas of thrust include robotics, telecommunications, scanning electron microscope applications and design for manufacturing.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. AT&T offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verseSM and AT&T │DIRECTVSM brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T’s Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations are known for their leadership in directory publishing and advertising sales. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies.
Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com. This AT&T news release and other announcements are available at http://www.att.com/newsroom and as part of an RSS feed at www.att.com/rss. Or follow our news on Twitter at @ATTNews. Find us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ATT to discover more about our consumer and wireless services or at www.facebook.com/ATTSmallBiz to discover more about our small business services.
© 2010 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. 3G service not available in all areas. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies.
About The University of Texas at San Antonio
The University of Texas at San Antonio is one of the fastest growing higher education institutions in Texas and the second largest of nine academic universities and six health institutions in the UT System. As a multicultural institution of access and excellence, UTSA aims to be a national research university providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
UTSA serves nearly 29,000 students in 64 bachelor’s, 48 master’s and 21 doctoral degree programs in the colleges of Architecture, Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Honors, Liberal and Fine Arts, Public Policy, Sciences and Graduate School. Founded in 1969, UTSA is an intellectual and creative resource center and a socioeconomic development catalyst for Texas and beyond. More information online at www.utsa.edu/today.