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Vanguard GEAR UP Students Revolutionize Education with AI and Drones


Vanguard Rembrandt Secondary Academy GEAR UP students experience flying drones through an array of fly-through rings for the first time.

Photo by Ramon Perez

Written by Jaden De Leon


In today's innovative world, emerging technologies like robotics, drones, and AI play an increasingly crucial role. From bustling factories and surgical theaters to futuristic farms, a quiet revolution is underway: robotics. The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) reports over 3.5 million robots working alongside our workforce, and that number is rapidly growing. Robots are revolutionizing industries with unprecedented efficiency and precision, automating mundane tasks and enabling groundbreaking medical procedures. As the digital age unfolds, students must enter this arena, armed with curiosity and coding skills.


According to a McKinsey report on the global industrial robotics space, 90% of businesses are changing to incorporate robotics into their infrastructure. To prepare students for their future careers, Vanguard Academies GEAR UP Program partnered with College 1st to conduct a CAMP on robotic technologies. This CAMP aimed to inform students about the latest technological advancements, from military drone and rover operations to everyday home cleaning robots. By understanding the impact of these technologies, students can envision more possibilities for the future.


"My day was great," shared Edgar Gamez, a Vanguard Rembrandt GEAR UP student. "I learned about robotics and how it can help the world. I'm inspired for the future, maybe I can be an engineer and change the world!"


Vanguard Beethoven GEAR UP Students experience ultrasonic tech rovers

Photo by Ramon Perez


Throughout the CAMP, students were encouraged to think creatively and critically, brainstorming novel applications for robotics, drones, and AI in various sectors. They tackled real-world challenges and envisioned innovative solutions, igniting their passion for technological innovation and problem-solving.


One of the highlights emphasized in the CAMP was the design challenge, where students created new rovers and drones to enhance specific industries. Armed with newfound knowledge and inspired by the potential of emerging technologies, they collaborated in teams to conceptualize and design cutting-edge robotic solutions.


One of the most significant robots students learned about was the rover. They discovered that rovers come in all shapes and sizes, used for data collection, transportation, and exploring dangerous terrain. They then used their creativity to sketch rovers that could serve various industries, from military applications to everyday tasks. To fully immerse themselves in the world of rovers and hone their critical thinking skills, they constructed a functional rover to race against their peers using provided materials.


Vanguard Mozart Secondary Academy Students test their own team-built rover with excitement.

Photo by Ramon Perez


“We’re learning to build rovers and drones” shared Jeremiah Cardenas, a student from Vanguard Beethoven. “This inspires me to be an engineer for robots so I can have a good career.”


While some students built rovers, others learned to fly drones, gaining insights into the future of drone technology. For example, law enforcement uses drones for video and audio surveillance, while the film industry utilizes them for capturing unique shots. Inspired by these applications, students designed their own drone inventions. Some envisioned using drones in agriculture for watering crops or planting seeds, while others saw them delivering food or necessities.


Vanguard Mozart Secondary Academy GEAR UP Students present their drone invention idea.

Photo by Ramon Perez


Students also explored Generative AI, a toolset poised to redefine the future. They discovered its potential to transform industries and drive innovation, unleashing their creativity and allowing them to solve problems in unprecedented ways. This provided valuable insights into the cutting-edge tools shaping tomorrow's world.


Ultimately, the Vanguard Academy GEAR UP students not only gained an understanding of future technologies but also explored potential career paths in this innovative field.


"This experience sparked my interest in technology," shared David Ysquierdo, a Vanguard Rembrandt student. "Maybe I can be a computer engineer in the future. These CAMPs opened my eyes to the importance of education and acquiring knowledge to be college and career ready."


For more information about the Vanguard Academies, please call them at 956-781-1701 or visit their website at https://www.vanguardacademy.education. College 1st is a joint initiative implemented in partnership with visionary leaders from school districts, education service centers, and post-secondary institutions across the State of Texas to empower students for college, career, and life success. For more details about the program, please visit our website at www.College1st.org or call us at 1-877-499-8544.

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