Fox19: Students mix biology, engineering to build robots

Biology Meets Engineering demonstrates how science is collaborative

Fox19 highlighted a novel University of Cincinnati summer program that introduces high school students to engineering and biology.

Students from Cincinnati-area high schools took part in the three-week Biology Meets Engineering program in which students learn about animal senses to design robots equipped with a combination of sensors to accomplish tasks.

Walnut Hills High School sophomore Trinity Charles shared how she designed a robot that uses sensors to identify a spectrum of colored LED lights that it can recognize and match with its own colored lights.

Colerain High School sophomore Jericho Williams designed a robot with visual sensors that can recognize and follow a "trail" made of tape.

"This is my first real engineering camp," Jericho said. "I'm feeling pretty confident in my robot."

The program was created with a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a curriculum drawing from both fields in UC’s College of Arts and Sciences and its College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Organizers will offer a similar program for UC students in the spring.

The course offers unique cross-training to help prepare students to pursue careers in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering or math.

"What we think is exciting is bringing fields together and allowing students to see the collaborative nature of science and engineering," said Stephanie Rollmann, a professor of biology and the principal investigator for the program.

After spending three weeks incorporating what they learned about animal senses into their robots, the students gave a public demonstration to family members and faculty. 

Watch the Fox19 story.

Featured image at top: Students in UC's Biology Meets Engineering program wear colored goggles to learn more about vision during an exercise. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

Stephanie Rollmann talks on camera to Fox19.

Professor Stephanie Rollmann talks to Fox19 about UC's Biology Meets Engineering program, which introduces students to biology and engineering through animal-inspired robotics. Photo/Fox19

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