Youth get up close and personal with Vincennes University’s robots

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VINCENNES, Ind., March 27, 2023 – Middle school students from Daviess, Martin, and Sullivan counties were incredibly excited to get their hands on the collaborative robots in Vincennes University’s brand-new Center for Applied Robotics and Automation.

They enjoyed a recent Saturday learning how to program a collaborative robot or cobot to pick up and move blocks during a “Fun With Robotics” day in the VU College of Technology Center.

Project ASPIREE and VU are helping youth explore high-demand careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

“The students had an excellent time participating in these hands-on learning experiences,” VU Project ASPIREE Director Kimberly Fields said. “We loved seeing their excited faces and hearing their happy chatter as their interest was piqued in future opportunities in STEM careers.”

There were many fun and cool activities on the Vincennes Campus for the students from Washington Catholic, North Daviess, Barr-Reeve, Loogootee, Shoals, Dugger Union, and North Central schools to experience. 

The middle schoolers experimented with electrical engineering by completing a circuit. They were amazed by the 3D printers in VU’s new state-of-the-art Additive Manufacturing and Reverse Engineering Center. They also spent time in other places, including the Automotive Technology Building, where they observed a car exceeding 200 miles per hour on a dyno machine.

As a federally funded TRIO Talent Search grant program, Project ASPIREE helps students explore career options and exposes them to college campuses along with information about majors. Students learn about the many pathways available after high school, including junior colleges, trade schools, community colleges, and four-year universities.