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State-Wide Robotics STEM Outreach


The Biocentric Robotics IGERT at the University of Utah has been a major organizer and supporter of FIRST robotics competitions in the state of Utah. These competitions are a draw from all areas of the state and from neighboring regions as well. The IGERT, lead by IGERT co-PI Mark Minor, organized a Utah regional competition for high school FIRST Robotics Competition teams, which competed to build large robots that moved about a basketball-sized field and targeted frisbees at goals. Along with the competition organization, the IGERT provided key volunteers and the meet and IGERT students help mentor the competing teams. Related to that effort is IGERT support of the younger-aged FIRST Lego League, where organizing positions were held by IGERT personnel and a number of teams were coached by IGERT Trainees.

Address Goals

The nation is recognizing the need to interest school-aged students in STEM fields. These competitions involve thousands of students in Utah each year in engaging, challenging, team-oriented robotics activities that can be a powerful motivator to further education in these areas. The teams span a range of ages, economic backgrounds, and geographic areas and provide opportunities for learning that would be difficult to acquire in a classroom setting.