Over the past several years our UMKC IEEE Robotics team and the UMKC IEEE student chapter has substantially increased the number of SCE students, both currently enrolled and alumni, involved in STEM outreach activities. Sharing their passion for programming, gizmos, gadgets and robots, IEEE student organization and team activities were featured in the UMKC Today article “Big Army, Little Bot”. This year’s UMKC IEEE student members involved in outreach are Eddie Pogosov, Ariel Muthyala, Victoria Wu, Matt Mohler, Andrew Blackton, Victor Skulavik III, Sarah Withee, Chris Wolfe, Mladen Kojic, Eric Gonzalez, RT Leryoskajai, W. Oliver Craig, Cody Kaspzyk, Scott McElfresh and Darren Cogan. The UMKC IEEE faculty advisor is Dr. Reza Derakhshani and Debby Dilks is the UMKC IEEEE robotics team staff advisor.
Benjamin Franklin wrote “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” He would be proud of the six UMKC students from our engineering honor society Eta Kappa Nu and the UMKC Robotics Team. On January 25, 2013 they travelled to Osage Trails Middle School in the Fort Osage School District in Independence, MO to teach electricity and circuits and demonstrate a robot. Starting at 7:15 a.m. and finishing at 2:30 p.m., the students along with their advisor, Debby Dilks, taught six class periods. They demonstrated sound traveling through laser light beams, static electricity, robot programming and provided hands-on experience using snap circuit kits. Over 375 students participated though out the day. The UMKC students – Kelsey Knoche, Matt Mohler, Ariel Muthyala, Eddie Pogosov, Victor Skulavik, Sarah Withee – left Osage Trails knowing old Ben was right.
Our IEEE Robot and its creators, the IEEE Robotics team, traveled to the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, MO to participate in Show ME Robots. This annual two day event uses robot demonstrations, exhibits and hands-on activities to interest and promote STEM studies and careers, including robotics, to Missourians. The IEEE team talked with several children and their parents/grandparents, some from as far away as Michigan. This is the third year the UMKC IEEE team has participated along with other robot teams invited by the organizer Bill Pabst, 4-H Youth Development Specialist, with the Missouri 4-H Center for Youth Development. The teams enjoy visiting with each other when time permits. Teams from FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Lego League, 4-H and BEST (those with the bigger robots) have a friendly competition on the second day of the event. UMKC IEEE Robotics team was the only University Robot team at the event. Due to the time it takes to travel to the event our UMKC IEEE Robotics team was only able to stay one day, Sunday August 12. The Kansas City and St. Louis Robotics Society also had displays and Mizzou students demonstrated a robot they use in their agricultural program demonstrating planting.
Pictured in photo below from left to right are: Debby Dilks, UMKC IEEE Staff Advisor, and UMKC IEEE Robotics team members ‘Mel Carter, Herber Hernandez, Ariel Muthyala, Matt Mohler, Sarah Withee, and Victoria Wu
Fourteen student members and three advisors from the UMKC IEEE Robotics Team travelled to Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 19th for the annual Region 5 IEEE Robotics Competition. Two robots were entered the competition from UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering, but only one robot was checked-in to compete because of a motor malfunction. Due to a miscommunication, the second robot was placed by a judge instead of a team member (as has been the rule for the past seven years) on the track in a different location than anticipated causing the robot to miss the first targeted energy source. Clement Lumanyika and Andrew Gatrost entered the Circuit Design Competition and came in fourth place. Two Robot Team alumni came to the competition to show their support and various others were watching on UTube. Unfortunately team members Mell Carter and Blake Huntington were not able to attend the competition.
Congratulations to the UMKC IEEE Robotics Team members Scot Banes, Andrew Blackton, Mell Carter, Lisa Chen, Oliver Craig, Tim Gitau, Blake Huntington, Aaron Hurst, Clement Lumanyika, Matt Mohler, Ariel Muthyala, Eddie Pogosov, Victor Skulavik, Jordie Smith, Sarah Withee, Vicky Wu and the IEEE Robotics Team advisors Eddie Burris, Reza Derakhshani and Debby Dilks.