Skip To Main Content
Students place their colorful wheeled robots on cardboard ramps and there is a red tablet on the ground between the students.
Students from Oakwood Intermediate School compete to see which robot can advance to the top of a ramp first. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering
Dr. Mohamed Gharib taught an innovative science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program at Oakwood Intermediate School focused on the fundamentals and technology basics of robotics used in real-life applications like assembly factories, search and rescue operations, and in warehouses.
The workshop was developed by STEM expert Gharib and organized by Dr. Garth V. Crosby. Both are associate professors at the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University.
As a Lego Education Academy certified trainer, Gharib taught the program with support from STEM students in the multidisciplinary engineering technology program using the state-of-the-art Lego Education SPIKE tool.
Students stand around a cardboard ramp as they observe a wheeled robot climb the ramp.
From left: Noble Hearen, Andrew Drake, Victor Benavides and Johnny Gierisch stand among other students from Oakwood Intermediate School as they compete to see whose robot will advance highest on the ramp. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

"Creating a robot that can perform predetermined tasks in this program was an excellent introduction to solving problems in robot construction and coding," Gharib said. "This program helped students learn how to tackle real-world challenges, and the students loved that."
The workshops aim to equip students with new skills that will enable them to tackle technical and design challenges while learning about robotics to expand knowledge of Brazos County youth and encourage them to choose pathways to careers in STEM.
"My favorite thing about the workshops was being able to program robots using Legos," said Johnny Gierisch, a student from Oakwood Intermediate School. "Some cool things I learned is how engineers discover how to solve problems around the world, and kids like us can one day change the world."

The STEM outreach program is part of the Robotics Innovation in STEM Education (RISE) initiative developed by Gharib in fall 2022. The RISE initiative aspires to develop learning, competition, outreach and a research hub in the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution to support STEM and education in robotics and establish industry partnerships.
"Having a robotics workshop at our school has been amazing," said Rick Velez, a teacher at Oakwood Intermediate School. "The students say the robotics workshop is the best program they have been in and are excited to learn more. We thank Texas A&M University and the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution for sponsoring this workshop and allowing our students to dig into STEM with hands-on learning."