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College program preparing students for STEM careers

Local News

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Hundreds of 9th grade students from schools in the Rio Grande Valley are gearing up for college. UTRGV’s GEAR UP College in Action aims to expose students to programs in the science, technology, engineering and math careers. Students are testing their skills in those subjects by building mBots.

Dr. Jesus Gonzalez, a lecturer in the College of Engineering and Science at UTRGV, explains how students will benefit from this hands on experience.

“They’re going to be exposed to robots that are for educational purposes. But also they are going to see the robots in their lives that are real robots, the type of robots that are used in the industry.”

Students say the GEAR UP program is giving them the opportunity to test their engineering skills and prepare them for what is next in their careers.

Ezra Esquivel, Porter High School student, “For these programs, like engineering, they’re letting us know what we are going to do in the future and how we are going to do it and that gives us experience over other people.” Esquivel was one of the many students who finished building their robots, but some students say building these mBots are a team effort.

Giovanni Suarez, Porter High School student, “The people that you are with, if they don’t know how to build them it’ll be difficult. Everyone needs to contribute to build the robot and controlling it and simply putting the effort in.”

The students put their robots to the test by entering them in a relay game. They fight other robots to see which robot is the last one standing.

The GEAR UP program is taking place at the UTRGV campuses in Brownsville and Edinburg. The presentations will continue Wednesday and Thursday.

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