Elementary students get their first lesson in robotics

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By Raul Garcia Jr.

A total of 100 Mercedes ISD migrant students from Kennedy, North, Travis and Hinojosa Elementary were given a presentation on Wednesday about robotics and aerospace engineering by local robotics expert, Heriberto Reynoso.

“It was really good and we learned a lot about robots,” said Michael Carrion, Kennedy Elementary fifth grader. “I want to build robots too.”

Carrion said he has been studying about space for two years now since starting in the third grade. He won a tyrannosaurus Rex 3D puzzle for answering Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon. The puzzle is one of many educational training assembly tools Reynoso builds in Mercedes with his specialized laser cutter that is used mainly to build robot parts.

The robotics presentation was a first for the migrant student initiative in Mercedes. However the Mercedes Migrant program and the school district are very proactive according to the director. The presentation was the first of a two part series with the Reybotics Institute. On the second day Reynoso will meet with middle school students who will build a robot, a rocket and a drone on Thursday.

Reynoso told the students it takes nitrogen and oxygen to push a rocket into space. He asked the youngsters who were the first two men to walk on the Moon. A sea of little hands in the air showed the excitement and eagerness to be called on to help and answer questions from the robotics expert.

“The presentation was very effective,” said Rolando Herrera, district migrant director. “Our migrant students are involved in different initiatives and Beto was very informative of what’s upcoming and what areas our kids can be in route to.”

DSC00019Reynoso said the kids are already in love with robots and are using technology and have seen it in movies. He attributes student attention to his presentations on account that all kids like robots. He said his talks about STEM is a great introduction into robotics. He continued saying it’s easy to capture the young minds by sharing my experiences and robot creation across the Valley.

“Hopefully my story acts like a driver for them to pursue the sciences and engineering fields,” said Heriberto Reynoso, the Robotics expert. “Theses students were quite receptive and in love with the idea of STEM as it is.”

As a college student he earned an internship opportunity with NASA where he did computer programming and worked on the Mars Rover. Reynoso earned a college degree from the University of Texas- Brownsville in computer science. Prior to that he had began building robots out of spare parts at home when he was 14-years-old. And it has become a passion of his to help students build robots and get into a career in robotics and aerospace engineering.

Reynoso partnered his business Reybotics with the Mercedes based nonprofit Texas Valley Communities Foundation in 2013 to continue engaging students for college readiness and a career in STEM. The non profit’s ENCORE program partners with Mercedes and area districts to give lessons in STEM.

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