By Steve Taylor
Rio Grande Guardian
PHARR, RGV – Robotics instructor and mentor Juan Carlos Suarez is urging Rio Grande Valley teachers not to turn away any student that wants to join a robotics team.
Interest in robotics among students in the region is booming, Suarez said, so high school teachers need to be creative in finding the funds to create more teams.
“At FIRST RGV, everybody who wants to start a team is welcome to come in. My message to teachers who are lacking support in their schools is, go out and find the support. Do not give up on finding it,” Suarez said.
Suarez is a board member of both FIRST RGV and the FIRST in Texas’ Alamo Region, which covers South Texas. FIRST, which stands for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, is a not-for-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and math.
“For those teachers that do have a program and have too many kids, because the interest is crazy, for those teachers who are overwhelmed with 20 or 30 kids wanting to be on one team, just make more teams. The resources are there. Come talk to us. Don’t let them not be in teams. Don’t cut people out. Make sure you include everybody,” Suarez said.
Suarez made his comments at a practice event held at PSJA ISD’s Southwest High School for robotics teams from across the Valley. He said such practice events are crucial because they give rookie teams – and the Valley has many rookie teams – experience for competition events in San Antonio.
“I would say 90 percent of the teams in the Valley are…