(March 29, 2010)--More than 175 high school students gathered March 5 at the UTSA Main Campus in the University Center ballroom to participate in TEAMS, a statewide engineering competition developed by the Junior Engineering Technical Society. The annual competition fosters creativity, critical thinking and teamwork by testing how well high school students use their math and science knowledge to address a global engineering challenge. This year's project theme was "Providing Clean Water to a Global Population."
Working in teams of four to eight students, the high school competitors transformed the ballroom into a library of sorts, stacking physics, chemistry and math textbooks next to massive science encyclopedias in preparation for the three-hour competition. "AP Physics" and "Barron's Forgotten Calculus" were among their references. Most competitors also toted graphing calculators, and some brought along granola bars and cheese crackers for sustenance.
After a welcome by the leaders of UTSA's National Society for Black Engineers, the competitors began the first half of their challenge, working under timed conditions to correctly answer 80 multiple-choice questions in math and science. Later, the students collaborated to complete eight tasks related to water filtration including the development of a water filter.
In the junior varsity (ninth and 10th grade) division, McNeil High School in Austin, Cedar Park High School and Cuero High School placed first, second and third, respectively. When the organizers of the event tabulated the scores online to rank them among competitors at other venues across Texas, the schools earned second, fifth and sixth place, respectively.
In the varsity (11th and 12th grade) division, Cedar Park High School won first place, and the teams from Winston Churchill High School in San Antonio won second and third at the UTSA competition. The varsity teams' scores earned them seventh, eighth and ninth place overall when compared to the competitors across the state.
So, what characterized the most successful teams? Winston Churchill High School's AP Physics teacher, Ginger McDaniel, has coached her students, all juniors and seniors, for many years.
"The competition is as much about being able to work together as it is to divide and conquer," she said.
2010 is the first year UTSA hosted the annual TEAMS competition.
About the UTSA Chapter of the National Society for Black Engineers
The National Society of Black Engineers is one of the nation's largest student organizations. The organization works to increase the number of successful black professionals in engineering while making a positive impact on communities through service. Open to all students, UTSA's chapter supports engineering students academically and professionally and sponsors community-service projects and high school mentoring programs.
The UTSA Interactive Technology Experience Center camps are for curious youth who are interested in STEM and related topics. This week, campers will study environmental science, robotics and computer science.
UTSA Main Campus
The Curtis Vaughan Observatory at UTSA will be having open stargazing every Wednesday night during the month. This event is free and open to the public.
Curtis Vaughan Observatory, UTSA Main Campus
In four sessions of this weeklong day camp for 9 to 13-year-olds, campers will participate in indoor and outdoor activities while exploring ancient technologies from around the world and the new technologies archaeologists are using to discover them.
UTSA Center for Archaeological Research, Main Campus
Roadrunner readers dive into exciting topics during this literary adventure summer camp geared toward 6-10-year-olds, occurring Monday through Thursday for two weeks.
Buena Vista Building 3.350, Downtown Campus
This event seeks to uncover overlapping African and Indigenous cultural expressions as points of decolonial praxis within readings of Black, Chicana/o, Mexican American, and African American culture and history. It's free and open to the public.
Buena Vista Theater (BV
Experience a very different summer camp! The UTSA East Asia Institute is teaching kids Japanese through language, culture, art, crafts, music, cooking and more. For kids age 6-12. For more details, email email@example.com.
Main Building (MB 1.126), Main Campus
7 to 12 year-olds will explore Mayan Culture in a three-day sessions, concluding at the Witte museum, where campers will have the chance to see the new "Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed" exhibit.
UTSA Center for Archaeological Research, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.