Press Release

New NASA Online Robotics Course this Summer

By SpaceRef Editor
June 6, 2005
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A dream come true for students interested in Robotics and Engineering!

Do you love USFirst Robotics?

Would you to have a head start for the 2006 US First Robotics competition?

Well if you answered yes to either question, we have a solution!

NASA teamed up with Fremont Union High School district to offer a Robotics summer school class for 3 units of high school credit.

Class begins June 21st and runs consecutive Tuesday/Thursdays through July 28th. Design and create your own VEX robot! Local students can attend the training 2 days a week at Homestead High in Cupertino, California. Anyone can enroll virtually and follow along! NASA will provide lesson plans and scholarships for the cost of the robot (A value of $300.00, please see application on the website). There are no other costs for the course.

Teachers – This is a wonderful opportunity to develop leaders for your engineering classes for next year. Students will be able to chat online with NASA engineers to help them learn about engineering and robotics. Offer this head-start to provide yourself with well trained students for next year.

NEW and EXCITING for summer of 2005


Designed for students who will be involved in the USFIRST Robotics competitions!

Course Description:

Students will build a small VEX robot based on a controller similar to the one used in USFIRST Robotics competitions. Emphasis will be on control systems. Fast introduction to C programming. How to program a microcontroller, map inputs to outputs, read sensor input and code autonomous operation. Discussion of DC PM motor torque-speed current characteristics, encoders, current protection and open/closed loop control. Discussion of common mechanical design issues such as tradeoffs between tolerance, backlash, stiffness, weight and precision, speed vs torque.

This special class meets 2 days a week from 1-4 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays for 6 consecutive weeks at: HOMESTEAD High School in Cupertino. Room F106 or via the NASA Virtual online lab at Students must have a reliable multimedia computer and access to the internet (broadband preferred). More on system requirements can be seen at the above mentioned URL.

Class Sessions:

  • Tuesday June 21 – Thursday June 23
  • Tuesday June 28 – Thursday June 30
  • Tuesday July 5 – Thursday July 7
  • Tuesday July 12 – Thursday July 14
  • Tuesday July 19 – Thursday July 21
  • Tuesday July 26 – Thursday July 28

Learn and Earn 3 units of high school credits

Students will:

  • Learn directly from engineers from NASA Ames
  • Be involved in live web broadcast from their classroom to NASA Ames
  • Interact with engineers on a website designed by NASA for this class
  • Be involved in a chat room for teachers and engineers to answer student questions
  • Build VEX Robots in teams of 1-4 students
  • Learn the national engineering standards

Enroll online at:

Last day to register: Friday June 3, 2004

For questions: contact:

SpaceRef staff editor.