New Initiative Creates Advanced Opportunities for STEM Students
Thanks to a new initiative with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s College of Engineering, the Ramageddon Robotics team is one-step closer to competing in this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition.
Led by Mr. Philip Ryland, the Ramageddon Robotics team is a dynamic group of like-minded students from Acadiana, Comeaux, Lafayette, Southside and David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy high schools with an interest in the STEM field. Students from nearby parishes and homeschooled students also participate.
Team members design, build, program and test industrial-sized robots as part of the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology, or FIRST, robotics competitions. Based on performances during regional tournaments, thousands of student teams vie for spots in FIRST’s yearly world championships.
Starting this year, UL Lafayette will lend a hand to Ramageddon Robotics, with faculty members and researchers from several College of Engineering departments leading weekend mentorship sessions in areas that include design and robotics.
Dr. Ahmed Khattab, dean of the University’s College of Engineering, said that the college’s support of the Ramageddon Robotics team represents “an investment that promises numerous returns for the future of the engineering field, and we are proud to be a part of it.”
“This is just the beginning,” stated Superintendent Francis Touchet, Jr. “Lafayette Parish is fortunate to have a university in our area to partner with and we look forward to expanding these opportunities that allow our students to excel.”
The initiative, which also includes a $10,000 gift to the team, was officially launched on Wednesday during a check presentation ceremony at LPSS’ W.D. and Mary Baker Smith Career Center. The support is an extension of a gift by alum Georges Antoun to the College of Engineering’s Center of Excellence. The center is designed to foster student success and outreach programs for both students on campus and aspiring engineering students.