Increase enrollment with robotic kits

May 22, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE - The computer science and software engineering department at UW-Platteville has recently improved its hands-on lab equipment with the purchase of Lego Mindstorms Robotics Invention System 2.0 Deluxe Kits.

The robotic kits allow students to design and program robots that can navigate obstacles and perform a variety of tasks. These options allow students endless opportunities for hands-on experience in the fields of computer science and software engineering.

The robotic kits will be used in a variety of ways including women in engineering summer workshops, women in engineering fall and spring presentations, demonstrations to prospective students visiting UWP and demonstrations by UWP students and faculty during high school visits. Special labs in the computer science and software engineering courses will also be able to use the kits to retain students currently in those majors and offer them more extensive learning opportunities.

With the purchase of the robotic kits, the computer science and software engineering programs are looking to increase the number of students involved in their programs. More specifically, both programs have set goals to seek an increase in women participants. The department is looking to fulfill its goals with the use of the robotic kits by providing new and exciting challenges for students in each respective program.

Funding for the Lego Mindstorms Robotics Invention System 2.0 Deluxe Kits is provided in part by the UW-Platteville Foundation Opportunity Fund, which awarded nearly $45,000 for 15 grants this year.

The UWP Foundation initiated the fund program in 1998-99, and the total number of grants thus far is 86, with a total monetary value of $411,000.

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