U-M Detroit Center matches teens, mentors, robots

The three key legs to enhancing education at the University of Michigan Detroit Center include teens, mentors and robots.

The university paired more than 100 high school students at Detroit Public Schools with mentors so they could compete in the FIRST Robotics 2010 national competition. The students and mentors built robots for the competition at the Michigan Engineering Zone.

The FIRST Robotics competition is often seen as a stepping stone for students going down the robotics and engineering career path. Think the people who create and manage the robots in assembly lines and other commercial activities. It's also viewed as a team building exercise for students, similar to a sport.

"I am seeing that they are becoming more self confident and that's what this is all about," says Jeanne Murabito, executive director for student affairs at the University of Michigan's College of Engineering. "That's the best part."

This is the first year of the program, which was made possible through the cooperation of the university and Detroit Public Schools. There are plans to continue it next year.

Source: Jeanne Murabito, executive director for student affairs at the University of Michigan's College of Engineering
Writer: Jon Zemke
Signup for Email Alerts