NUA High School Students Designing Robots


Robotics have really caught on among a group of students enrolled in a unique STEM-focused academic program through the National University Academy (NUA) public charter school. It all started when students formed a robotics club last year, and then launched the school’s first participation in the 9th Annual San Diego Regional FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition earlier this year. The competing robotics team was made up of 8 boys and seven girls and gave themselves a great name: “The Circuit Breakers”.

Now the students are back at work for the San Diego Makers Faire, with a goal to produce about a dozen shoe-box sized robots that will be featured as part of the National University-National University Academy exhibitor’s booth.


The robots project reflects the innovative and collaborative spirit fostered between National University students and students from National University Academy.  National University Computer Information Systems undergraduate students are working on various Maker Faire projects.

The high school students are constantly innovating and finding new ideas for showcasing and testing the robots for future opportunities, and the San Diego Maker Faire will give them the opportunity to do just that. One idea they have been considering is creating a simulated lunar landscape that could give users the experience of exploring the moon by maneuvering the robot through external controls. The students are also planning to compete in an underwater robotics competition next  year, so it’s a good chance you might run into them at the beach sometime with their robots, too.


“This has been an exciting extension of the high school students’ earlier work, and a chance to provide even more opportunity to challenge their robotics and engineering skills,”  said Dr. Jaurez, National University School of Engineering and Computing faculty mentor. “Every day, the students are becoming even stronger designers and problem-solvers.”

This is the power of hands on making.