National Robotics Week Open House to Spark Community Interest in STEM

As robots becomes intertwined in everyday life,  it is becoming increasingly important to have knowledge and exposure to robotics and programming. Given this emphasis on automation, robotics and programming, FLATEthe National Science Foundation regional center of excellence in Manufacturing in Tampa, is taking a leading role in hosting a region wide event to celebrate national robotics week in Tampa. As part of this effort, FLATE is partnering with local engineering and robotics clubs throughout Tampa bay to showcase applications of robotics technology in industrial and everyday settings. Educators, students, industry professionals, and anyone interested in STEM and robotics are invited to participate in this interactive event on April 11 from 3-6 p.m.. The open house will be held in the student services building of Hillsborough Community College in Brandon.

During the open house visitors will tour FLATE’s state-of-the-art high-tech manufacturing labs. Walking
through different stations, they will witness demo of electric cars built by members of Electrathon Tampa Bay. They will also get an overview of various robotics software currently used by local/regional robotics teams that compete in VEX, FLL, FTC and FRC.  Robotics team members from Middleton and King high schools are set to bring their FTC and FRC robots to showcase some “safe” and “fun” robotics action. Visitors will get the opportunity to work through mini LEGO® Mindstorms® NXT challenges involving motors and ultrasonic sensors. The challenges are coordinated by FTC teams. In addition to the tours and challenges attendees will get a first-hand look at an industrial robotic arm that are used in high-tech manufacturing settings, and get a chance to enter a sweepstakes to win a free week of FLATE’s locally/regionally acclaimed summer robotics camps.

National Robotics Week recognizes robotics technology as a pillar of 21st century American innovation, highlights its growing importance in a wide variety of application areas, and emphasizes its ability to inspire technology education. The purpose of national robotics week is to: celebrate and position the United States as a leader in robotics technology development; educate the public about how robotics technology impacts society, both now and in the future; advocate for increased funding for robotics technology research and development, and inspire students of all ages to pursue careers in robotics and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-related fields.

For more information, or to participate visit www.fl-ate.org. You can also contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director of FLATE at barger@fl-ate.org, and Desh Bagley, outreach manager for FLATE at bagley@fl-ate.org.