History

History

STEMSTEM Advancement Inc, dba Mississippi Robotics (MR) was founded by Mr Ray Holt.  Ray moved to Mississippi in 2010 to investigate the possibility of teaching rural students engineering and math. He soon added robotics. He has taught over 1000 students from 2nd to 12th grades as well as coached several teams in engineering and robotics competitions placing 1st and 2nd in several State level competitions as well as a top-ranked rookie team in International robotics competition. Ray has strong experience in computer design and manufacturing, computer science, and education. He has a BS degree in Electronic Engineering, an MS in Computer Science, and an MA in Education. He currently holds a license to teach secondary math in Mississippi. He is also a certified ROBOTC language instructor. The University of Mississippi engineering college has certified Ray to teach their Introduction to Engineering class to high school students for college credit. Ray also has 25 years’ experience organizing and running a youth sports league that served a total of over 10,000 participants in three sports year-round. Ray holds the distinction of being designer of the first microchip computer, the first electronic pin ball game, directed the engineering of an academy awarded special-effects product, produced a single-card computer used in the US Navy’s first two robots, as well as being a pioneer in the small computer publishing market. http://FirstMicroprocessor.com . He has held positions such as VP Engineering of a Honeywell division, Director of Information Systems and Customer Service, and Director of Engineering and Operations/Manufacturing. He has founded three non-profits and two profit businesses. He has authored / published over 14 technical papers and reports. “Robotics: Does it motivate rural students to go to college” is one of his recent papers since serving in rural Mississippi.

Mississippi Robotics is engaged in creating and providing a common curriculum for enhanced outside-of-school training in the physical and life sciences for rural and inner city students across Mississippi. This training is centered around hands-on engineering, science, and robotics courses. Mississippi Robotics identifies a local ministry or educational entity that is already working with 2nd – 12th grade students and assists them in organizing for the Mississippi Robotics curriculum. Mississippi Robotics trains staff and teachers as well as teach courses as necessary. Mississippi Robotics will also organize competitions, camps and conferences to encourage and motivate students and teachers in the STEM areas (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). The Mississippi Robotics curriculum extends from 3th – 12th grades.

Mississippi Education

school-400x - STEMThe education system in Mississippi is considered and often rated as the lowest in the country. Schools are run by locally elected school superintendents and school boards. Many of the staff of school districts and schools are filled by political favor appointees. Schools are generally run down, have very old or no textbooks, have little to no lab equipment or supplies and are filled with teachers working down their student loans (credit for teaching at a low income school) or are just passing through until a better job comes along. Teaching in a Mississippi school is not considered a top end job unless you have roots in the local area and then it is considered a cushy job as rarely does anyone get fired. State educational officers and boards have very little influence over the local boards except in the area of test results and ranking the schools. Teachers are overwhelmed with the pressure of tests. Students are rarely challenged in college-prep material, most score very low on college-prep exams (ACT) and very few are motivated to go to college. High school dropout rates are over 30%.

Mississippi Robotics Goals

IMG_1665 - STEMThe goals of Mississippi Robotics are

1) to produce motivated students in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) areas,
2) to encourage students to stay in high school,
3) to encourage students to increase their math skills,
4) to give students opportunity to create, document, and present their ideas,
5) to give students engineering-related knowledge and skills by working with hands-on projects,
6) to help prepare and encourage students to attend college,
7) to help students become aware of science, technology and engineering careers.

We encourage students to learn, study, and go into any college and career field that interests them. A broad base of practical applications in science, engineering and math is the basis for most career fields today. Robotics, mechatronics, and automation control provides real-world applications for learning employable skills.

 

We are motivated by the needs of the children in the rural areas who do not have advantages others enjoy. It is our belief every child should have the opportunity to reach his or her God given potential in all areas of life.

 

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