(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 annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
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.