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Communications and Public Affairs: 207-7234
Published on Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Parks and Recreation’s Zero Robotics Summer Program Coding for Fun, Competition, and the Future of Space Exploration

CONTACT: Connie Swann, 210-207-6122


SAN ANTONIO, TX (July 16, 2019) – The San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department is excited to partner with NASA and MIT for the Zero Robotics Middle School Summer Program.  Participating students at the Frank Garrett Multi-Service Community Center are learning computer programming, robotics, and space engineering. The culmination of the five-week STEM program includes an opportunity to run code and operate robots for the International Space Station during a competition on August 9th. NASA astronauts will provide real-time commentary via live feed.


Zero Robotics seeks to inspire students by allowing them unprecedented access to space. “I believe that for this generation of children, knowing a computer language is just as important as knowing an additional spoken language,” noted Jesus Compean, lead instructor for the program. This is the first year San Antonio Parks and Recreation’s Summer Youth Program has participated in the Zero Robotics program.


“My most memorable experience leading this program is definitely when the participants rush into the room ready to learn something new and work on their code,” said Compean. “Team Garrett” includes ten middle school students. The students are gaining hands-on experience programming SPHERES (Synchronized, Position, Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites). The teams’ SPHERES have an opportunity to compete aboard the International Space Station. Team Garrett is one of three teams from Texas. In total, teams from 15 states and Russia are participating in the summer program session.


“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, it’s exciting to see this generation have access to space and, hopefully, inspire them to continue exploring,” said Sara Sharp, Assistant Parks and Recreation Manager. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and the Zero Robotics program, Parks and Recreation is hosting A Walk On The Moon party for program participants on Wednesday, July 24 between 1pm – 3pm at Frank Garrett Multi-Service Community Center. Participants will showcase what they are learning and enjoy a moon simulation activity room, space-inspired arts and crafts, and sample space food.


Your Coverage Is Welcome 
(Not Open To The Public)

  • Zero Robotics Class | Wednesday, July 17, 1pm-3pm
  • A Walk On The Moon | Wednesday, July 24, 1pm-3pm


Frank Garrett Multi-Service Community Center
1226 NW 18th Street