Eight-day camp merges robotics with business
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s McAllen Teaching Site was recently crowded with eager IDEA high school students waiting to showcase their smart-farming robots. The robots’ yield ultimately would determine the fate of their newly founded small businesses.
Students cheered as the robots they had built collected simulated crops and piglets.
The university’s Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center this summer hosted its sixth annual summer camp for IDEA high school students. The eight-day camp explored a unique curriculum that merges engineering and robotics with business and entrepreneurship. TMAC hosted two eight-day sessions for the IDEA students.
Throughout the eight days, students learned how to manufacture robots. They then used them to perform tasks on a simulated farm. Depending on the yield, their business must calculate its net worth and present it to investors, along with other aspects of their business plan. After investors propose their bids, students must negotiate to determine which one will work best for the company.