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HSI Students Have Unique Opportunities

July 8, 2016
Steve Barrett
Steve Barrett

For nearly three decades, Wyoming rising sophomore students have had the opportunity to have their first taste of college life while attending the University of Wyoming Summer High School Institute (HSI). 

For the past two years, student Matthew Love and faculty members Jeff Anderson and Steve Barrett have taught a robot-based introduction to computer science, computer engineering and electrical engineering. The goal is to present an intensive, hands-on, motivational experience where each student would build, program and develop the interface between the programming board and the robot hardware. 

Along the way, students learn about different engineering fields, including computer science and basics of computer programming and interfacing. Course objectives are as follows: take the mystery out of engineering and computing, show that engineering and computer science is fun and exciting, demonstrate that engineering is for both women and men, emphasize hands-on, learn-by-doing exercises and inform students of the excellent educational opportunities at the University of Wyoming. 

For the course, a low-cost Dagu Magician robot kit was used. Each student built their own robot, equipped with “whisker” sensors and an Arduino UNO R3 processor board. The Arduino processor was specifically designed for use by students without a technical background. They are easy to use and program. 

This educational project was funded by the John P. Ellbogen Foundation via the College of Engineering and Applied Science’s Engineering’s Next Generation Program. We especially thank Mary Ellbogen Garland, President and Chair of the Foundation.

-- Steve Barrett, CEAS Associate Dean

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