Hundreds of local high school and middle school students will gather at Bartow Arena this Thursday for the 2014 Blazer BEST kickoff event. Teams from 25 area schools are registered for the event, which will be the participants' first opportunity to learn the rules and see the playing field for this year's competition. The teams will then have six weeks to plan and build a robot to meet the challenge on game day, which will take place October 4 at Bartow Arena.
"The kickoff event is like a huge pep rally," says Lyn Lewis, co-director of Blazer BEST. "The objective changes every year, so even if students participated last year, this will be their first chance to see this year's playing field."
In addition to learning the 2014 objectives and seeing the field for the first time, the teams will also receive the kits they will need to complete the challenge.
The community will get a first look at the robots on September 21st at the Riverchase Galleria before the teams return to Bartow Arena on October 4 to compete against one another.
Blazer BEST is a local hub of BEST (“Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology”) Robotics, Inc.—a non-profit, volunteer-run national organization whose mission is to inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through participation in a sports-like, science- and engineering-based robotics competition.
UAB is one of dozens of BEST sites across the nation and one of 11 hubs in Alabama.
The School of Engineering is now accepting applications for the 2014-15 Dupuis Mentor Scholarship, a new scholarship program that will allow recipients opportunties to impact the future of the School of Engineering, while receiving a $1,200 scholarship.
Specifically, the Mentor Scholars will play a major role in several student retention initiatives, including conducting organized study sessions for several courses required in engineering programs and participating in a limited number of additional retention programs.
The students selected for these awards must not only be academically successful as rising sophomores, juniors, or seniors with at least 30 hours of credit completed at UAB, but must also take initiative, possess organizational skills, present themselves well, and be personable, friendly, and approachable. To apply for one of these positions, please submit the following:
- a completed application
- an updated resume (including all college activities)
- intended date of graduation (must be no earlier than May 2015)
- electronically to email@example.com.
Faculty members from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering joined Bessemer City Schools superintendent Fred Primm last week to speak to Bessemer students and parents at a STEM Awareness Forum.
Department chair Murat Tanik, Ph.D., attended the event, along with assistant professor Arie Nakhmani, Ph.D., associate professor Hassan Moore, Ph.D., and Abi Yildiorim, Ph.D., director of the Signal Processing & Embedded Systems Laboratory.
The event was part of an ongoing effort to spur interest in STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math. "Right now, we still have a good cohort of scientists and engineers who design our future," Nakhmani said in an interview posted on al.com. "Unfortunately, the trend is moving from the society of inventors and critical thinkers to users who don't understand the principles of science and technology. If this trend persists, any progress on medicine, science and technology will be delayed, and the only way to reverse the trend is by providing adequate STEM education."
In addition to helping parents and students understand the importance of STEM, Nakhmani says events such as this one also help SOE faculty by providing critical feedback that helps educators understand the interests, needs, and expectations of upcoming generations of college students.
The event was organized by Muirhead Graham (M&G) Technologies.
Two UAB biomedical engineering students recently attended an event hosted by the UNCF Merck Science Initiative at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
Ophelia Johnson and Donovan White were named UNCF Merck Undergraduate Research Fellows in the spring. They were joined by UAB biology student Quincy Jones, who also was named a UNCF Merck Fellow.
The three UAB students were among just 15 undergraduates selected nationally. In addition to the trip to the NIH, each Fellow will present a research project at Merck & Company’s research and development facility this fall.
Each UNCF Merck Fellow receives a $25,000 award. The BME students may share their award with the department in the form of a departmental grant worth up to $10,000 per award.