Over 300 students from elementary and middle schools around South Florida participated last weekend in the 1st Annual FIU Robotics Open. Thirty teams competed to demonstrate their skills in mathematical analysis, creativity, engineering design, and computer programming in a fun and engaging way.
As an outstanding example of community outreach at FIU, the robotics open brought to our campus roughly 600 people, including students in the age group 9-13, their mentors/coaches, parents, grandparents, family, and friends. We saw how the event captured the imagination of the students and left a mark on them. We hope they will be attracted to STEM disciplines in the future.
Thanks are due to many individuals for this hugely successful event.
Prof. Greg Reis played a huge role in managing the large number of FIU volunteers, food, parking, anthem singer, and a whole host of little things.
Mario Eraso and student Vitalii Steblyankin helped enormously with logistics.
The FIU student volunteers were judges and referees and stayed till the end. Many of the student volunteers were from the newly formed Robotics Club. There were many other students from CS, IT and ECE.
It would not have happened without the help of our collaborators from Miami-Dade, Pam Wentworth, Adam Mack, and Vanessa Socarras. Adam Mack orchestrated the individual games at the competition and was the eMCee for the event.
Prof. Ubbo Visser from University Miami was the Master Judge.
Ili Simhi was the official photographer and videographer for the event. She also handled social media for the event and is to be credited for the photographs linked at the top of this message.
The folks from GC, Sanyo Matthew, and Andre Rodrigues were outstanding. The A/V help came from the folks at GC as well.
Catherine Hernandez helped with printing the posters.
All the teams, their coaches and support people made the event what it was.
The positive feedback from the parents and coaches at the end of the event was sufficient evidence that it was a big success. Please join me in thanking all the people mentioned above along with the scores of volunteers that I have not listed. I want to particularly thank Dean Volakis for his show of support.