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Currently, Mexico is experiencing a serious problem of organized crime, where children and youth are being recruited by criminal organizations. Some of the causes that have led to this are the lack of recreational activities, and the presence of crime in their neighborhoods. In an attempt to address these issues, this project began in the Mexican city of Tampico in a public secondary school located in a low-income area in the city outskirts. It is a yearlong program and it is divided in five stages.
In the first stage, students recognize robotics as part of their daily lives, seeking information about the topic and related concepts of the technology. Young people develop skills that will help them better compete for a job anywhere.
The second stage consists in the understanding of operation of the major components that comprise any electromechanical system, such as sensors, microcontrollers, actuators, etc. and how when they are combined can form a specific system.
The third stage is the construction of the first robot starting with block models. In this part they recognize the basic characteristics of the robot and they get a better understanding of the importance of each component.
The fourth stage is the programming; students begin to use interactive software to program the microcontroller. They know the programming commands and initiate their combination to form their first routines and control the robot parts.
The fifth stage is the development of prototypes; students begin to have ideas of their own models and how they might apply what they learn to develop a model with different sensors and for any practical application.
Since the beginning of the project several positives effects were observed in the students like an improved attitude, more respect among classmates, good self-esteem and an improvement in their grades. The main idea is to apply this kind of programs in public secondary schools to capture the attention of the students throughout the school years.