Summer robotics camps immerse young students in engineering challenges


June 20, 2012

Hundreds of Arizona middle school and high school students have gained experience in putting science, engineering and math into practice in the summer robotics camps presented since 2006 by Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Led by Yinong Chen, a lecturer in the School of Computing, Informatics and Decisions Systems Engineering, the camps teach students to design, build and program rudimentary robots. ASU summer robotics camps Download Full Image

Youngsters get a taste of the rigors of experimentation, the engineering process and technology development.

In addition, more than 50 Arizona middle school and high school teachers have received training at the camps on how to introduce robotics instruction in their schools.

Through those teachers, Chen says, thousands of young students across the state are benefitting from lessons offered by ASU summer robotics camps.

See a video about the robotics camp.

 

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

480-965-8122

ASU's Academic Progress Rate among best in Pac-12


June 20, 2012

Arizona State records highest APR score ever

The NCAA announced its annual Academic Progress Rates June 20 and Arizona State University’s average APR score for all sports of 978 is the school’s highest ever and ranks among the very best in the Pacific-12 Conference. track and field Download Full Image

ASU’s average sport score of 978 is one-hundredth of one percentage point behind No. 2 in the conference.

Three sports, including softball, soccer and tennis were recognized nationally last week for their rank in the nation’s top 10 percent in their respective sports. Softball, tennis and women’s swimming all lead the Pac-12 conference with the highest APR in their respective sports. Twenty (20) of ASU’s 21 sports teams finished with a score of over 960 and all 12 women’s sports at ASU finished with scores above 970.

Since the APR measurement began in 2003-2004, ASU’s average for all sports has increased from 937 to 978 (2010-2011).

For the fifth year in a row, all 21 of Arizona State University’s athletic teams have exceeded minimum Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores for the NCAA’s most recent four-year reporting period. In fact, the average score for all of ASU’s 21 athletic teams is 976, well above the 925 cut-off point to avoid NCAA penalties and/or loss of scholarships.

Academic coaching key to APR success 

“Our APR scores represent the finest overall numbers we have reported since the APR rating was instituted by the NCAA in 2003-2004,” said Vice President for Athletics Steve Patterson. “This is a direct result of the fantastic work being done by our Office of Student-Athlete Development, led by award-winning Jean Boyd, and support from our faculty, staff and coaching staffs. Of course, the real stars here are the student-athletes."

Boyd was selected recently as the 2012 Lan Hewlett Award winner at the 2012 National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletes Conference (N4A). The Lan Hewlett Award, named for a long-time University of Texas advisor, is considered the top honor in the profession. The award is presented annually by the N4A for outstanding performance as an academic advisor for athletics and recognizes sustained professional service, a high level of competence in administrative skills, merited professional stature, innovation in meeting the needs of student-athletes, effectiveness in the development of junior staff, significant contributions to the field through publications and professional development, and leadership in university affairs.

“The release of the Academic Progress Rate data and the continued elevation of performance Sun Devil Athletic teams have experienced over the past four years are remarkable illustrations of the power of collaboration,” says Jean Boyd, Senior Associate Athletic Director for the Office of Student-Athlete Development. “Coaches, academic coaches, university staff and student-athletes have worked together to raise APR scores to the upper tier of the Pacific-12 Conference in this important measure of academic progress.”  

Some ASU APR highlights:

• ASU tied for 2nd in the Pac-12 with the most teams recognized as being in the top 10 percent of their sport: women’s tennis, 1,000; soccer, 998; and softball, 997.

• Baseball remains in the top three in the Pac-12 conference with an all-time high of 983, a 130-point improvement from a score of 853 in 2003-2004.

• Three sports – women’s tennis (1,000), softball (997) and soccer (998) – have the top score in the Pac-12 Conference.

• Coach Sheila McInerney has led the women’s tennis team to eight straight years of 1000 (100%) and 25 straight years of NCAA post-season competition.

• Eight teams experienced their all-time high in the APR Metric: baseball, men's indoor and outdoor track, wrestling, softball, soccer, tennis and water polo.

The APR provides a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility, retention and graduation in the calculation. It provides a clear picture of the current academic culture in each sport.

The APR awards points to student-athletes who meet academic eligibility standards, such as satisfactory progress, GPA and percentage of degree, and who remain with the institution. This year, a 930 cut score was implemented by the NCAA Board of Directors. In two years, any sport below this mark will be penalized with the loss of post-season competition.

“The primary goal of the APR measurement is to improve academic performance of athletic teams, provide academic accountability of student-athletes and ultimately increase graduation rates,” Patterson said.  

ASU’s women’s multi-year scores are: tennis, 1000; swimming, 990; volleyball, 985; golf, 990; soccer, 998; softball, 997; cross country, 988; indoor track and field, 982; outdoor track and field, 982; basketball, 974; gymnastics, 978; and water polo, 973.

ASU’s men’s multi-year scores are: golf, 970; cross country, 979; basketball, 968; baseball, 983; swimming, 962; wrestling, 961; football, 937; indoor track and field, 968; and outdoor track and field, 963.

Britt Lewis

Interim Communications Director, ASU Library