CINCINNATI — While most high school students are relaxing this summer break, some are furthering their education, like some students learning how biology meets engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

What You Need To Know

  • The Biology meets Engineering program is available to high school students

  • The three week program focuses on how senses can be relayed to robotics and engineering

  • Students had to choose a sense and create a robot that could use that sense

  • The program has also been created into a course for college students at UC

This robot has a sense of smell. Well, kind of. Thanks to Hosanna Otchere, she’s allowed this robot to sense a smell it should stay away from.

The robot moves away from the line due to its sense of smell. (Katie Kapusta/ Spectrum News 1)

“When it gets close to the line, it would move back because it’s using its sense of smell technically to avoid the stench," Otchere said.

The project is part of the biology meets engineering summer course at the University of Cincinnati for high school students. 

“I think that people nowadays should think about being cross-trained," said Stephanie Rollmann, the director of the program. "So our program needs engineering really is about looking at how engineering can be used to understand biology better and how biology can help us engineer and design things better.”

Each student, like Otchere, learned about the different senses and how to apply them to engineering and robotics. The students then presented their findings.

Hosanna Otchere points out where the robot stops. (Katie Kapusta/ Spectrum News 1)

The program, in its third year, has gained popularity and is even offered as a college-level course to UC students. 

And while these students, like James Mroczka, may be young, they know that this is something they want to do. Even if they weren’t sure before.

“I liked biology in school but I wasn’t really excited about it," Mroczka said. "But this really opened my eyes to biology for sure.”

He says he hopes other kids his age find their passion like he has.

The Biology meets Engineering program runs for three weeks. (Katie Kapusta/ Spectrum News 1)

“Try it out," he said. "Honestly, just try it. If you don’t know what you want to do, keep doing something until you find something you like.”

For Otchere, she says the course has allowed her to see a career in STEM.

“It definitely pushed me to STEM," she said. "I wanted to do it. But then I was like maybe… This was like confirmed it. Yea, I want to do it.”