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UHV to offer robotics, digital simulation camp for high school students

By Victoria Advocate
May 18, 2013 at 12:18 a.m.


For the second year, the University of Houston-Victoria is offering high school students the opportunity to get college-level experience in robotics, engineering and digital simulation.

The 2013 Digital Simulation and Robotics Summer Camp will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 17-21 on the UHV campus, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. The camp is free, but only 12 spots are available.

The summer camp is run by Alireza Tavakkoli, an assistant professor in the UHV School of Arts & Sciences and director of the university's digital gaming and simulation program.

The camp is being funded as part of a grant from Alcoa Foundation. The grant also supports a yearlong robotics course for high school students and the UHV/Victoria College Math & Computer Science Awareness Day.

"The robotics and computer science opportunities for high school students in this area are limited," Tavakkoli said. "We provide this camp so students can get excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics-based careers and gain experience in subjects that stimulate their minds."

During the camp, students will build autonomous robots using Lego NXT Mindstorm 2.0 robotics kits and artificial intelligence programming.

Tavakkoli also will show campers how to build electronics circuits and digital simulation environments.

The camp will conclude with a day trip June 21 to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The trip will include a behind-the-scenes tour of Mission Control and astronaut training facilities that feature various types of robots used by NASA.

Campers have the option to stay in a UHV residence hall during the week but are not required to do so. The room and board fee is $300 for those who choose to stay in the dorm. Six scholarships are available to cover residence hall fees for campers who live outside of Victoria.

"We want students from across the Crossroads region to participate in the summer camp and not be deterred by the distance to UHV," Tavakkoli said. "We've offered the option of staying in a dorm room so students from outside of Victoria don't have to worry about driving every day and can still participate in the summer camp. This is also a great way for campers to get a glimpse of college life."

The free camp is designed for all high school students, including incoming ninth-graders and those just graduating. Students must submit an application that includes a resume and reference letter. The registration deadline is May 29.

For more information or to apply for the summer camp, visit hsrobotics.aiatuhv.com or contact Tavakkoli at tavakkolia@uhv.edu or 361-570-4204.

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