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Frostburg State University to Host Summer Center for Future Robotics Engineers
03/15/2004

Maryland high school students will have the opportunity to build robots this summer at Frostburg State University at the Center for Future Engineers: Robot Design, part of the Maryland Summer Centers for Gifted and Talented Students.

FSU's brand new robotics laboratory in the Compton Science Center will be the location for the weeklong residential camps, scheduled for July 11 to 16 and July 18 to 23, for about 40 high school students. The first class is for entering freshmen and sophomores, the second for entering juniors and seniors.

The curriculum will focus on the design of intelligent robotic systems, with daily opportunities for hands-on lab and computer activities. Two-person teams will work to design a robot system, test it and present it publicly in an open session. There will also be a field trip to Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in nearby Rocket Center, W.Va.

Dr. Oguz Soysal, camp co-director and one of its two faculty members, says students will work on several projects including exploration robots in the vein of the Mars rovers. Students will also learn how to program automated systems involving robot arms. Ideal candidates will be those who love to play with gadgets and make things work.

FSU's robotics laboratory was established with equipment paid for by a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. Only in operation for a matter of weeks, it will eventually be designed to fill a three-pronged need: education for FSU students, education for K-16 students in the region, and training for regional industry. It is the only such facility in Maryland west of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area.

The Maryland State Department of Education Summer Center programs offer unique instructional experiences for students who are gifted and talented and give students the opportunity to work in settings and with resources not available during the regular school year. Activities are designed to encourage critical thinking, creativity and problem solving while challenging students academically.

Brochures and applications are available from schools and local gifted and talented education coordinators, as well as on the Web site of the Maryland State Department of Education at www.marylandpublicschools.org/summercenters. Applications must be postmarked by Thursday, April 15. Students will be notified in early May whether they were accepted.

The cost is $375 for the one-week (Sunday through Friday) residential program. Some scholarships are available.

For more information about the Center for Future Engineers: Robot Design, visit the Web site at http://faculty.frostburg.edu/engn/soysal/robot/ or contact Soysal at osoysal@frostburg.edu or (301) 687-7079.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call (301) 687-4102, TDD (301) 687-7955.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu