RSU ART Academy Introduces Students to Robotics and Higher Education

Youn girl builds robot.

Donna Leaton, a camp participant from Sapulpa, builds a remote controlled robot during the ART Academy’s robotics lab at Rogers State University. The lab is a result of a grant through AT&T Aspire.

Several junior high and high school students worked with robotics for the first time during the third annual Appreciating Real-World Technology (ART) Academy at Rogers State University.

Though few students had worked with robotics before, the new lab was the most popular event of this year’s camp, according to Dr. Abe Marrero, RSU psychology professor and the event’s principal organizer. The robotics lab was the result of a grant through AT&T Aspire.

“The AT&T Aspire grant allowed us to purchase the robotic kits, programming software and contract an experienced robotics facilitator for the camp,” he said.

ART Academy participants use robots

ART Academy participants learn how to manage their robots after learning how to build and program them for the first time. The robotics lab was the most popular event during the week-long ART Academy at Rogers State University.

“Artificial intelligence, robotics and drones are the next big technology wave, and I would like to get Oklahoma kids involved in it.”

The ART Academy, a week-long residential camp for low-income youth, offers junior and high school students a hands-on classroom experience in a college environment. The camp’s goal is to help youth to encounter a fun college environment with a variety of diverse learning experiences.

A total of 19 students from twelve Oklahoma cities attended ART Academy. Only three had attended the camp at RSU before, and many would be the first in their family to attend college.

“ART Academy allows us to showcase RSU, our campus and facilities, and our talented faculty to students who may never have the opportunity to visit us,” he said. “My hope is that students who spend time on campus among current college students and university faculty will hopefully develop an affinity for RSU or any Oklahoma institution of higher learning.”

The camp is funded through Gear Up, a U.S. Department of Education program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in college.

This year’s camp included students from Elk City, Sapulpa, Stillwell, Duncan, Norman, Kingston, Marietta, Guymon, McCloud, Checotah, Beggs and Harrah.

For more information, call 918-343-7813.