The UT Autonomous group has established a collaboration with the Technical Education Program at Del Valle Independent School District in Travis Country, TX, which serves roughly 11,000 students. Several students presented on the current state of AI in the real world, AI limitations, control theory, and how the next generations of engineers (present in the class) would get the pleasure of going beyond these limitations. After the presentations, students were given the opportunity to ask questions.
UT Autonomous also hosted students for tours and activities in our Texas Robotics Lab. The Del Valle students participated in demonstrations of a robotic dog walking around the lab and the Tello drone flying experience. All of these activities and demonstrations are centered around facilitating conversations about STEM opportunities and how students can be successful. Afterward, we brought the Del Valle students to the Oden Institute Computational Visualization Center to demonstrate how large-scale computing is used in research. Finally, several Oden Institute professors held presentations to further engage with the students on STEM opportunities.
There have been further discussions with Del Valle staff and their interest in the UT Autonomous group regularly presenting every year to cultivate some interest in STEM fields in high school students.