(May 14, 2010)--The UTSA College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) recently welcomed a delegation of Malawi diplomats based in Washington, D.C., and representatives of the Malawi Department of Ministry for Education, Science and Technology.
Over the five-day visit, the delegation visited area schools to learn about bilingual education programs, visited with UTSA deans and vice presidents and also had a chance to experience San Antonio's Fiesta spirit by attending the Texas Cavaliers River Parade.
One of the schools the delegation observed was San Antonio ISD's Bonham Academy, located just west of downtown. The bilingual curriculum at Bonham is recognized around the state for producing students that master both the English and Spanish languages.
The delegates visited Ms. Sanchez' fourth grade class where students were creating video "trailers," similar to those seen in movie theaters to promote upcoming feature films. In Spanish and education-based, the students illustrated and narrated the videos with background music to promote books they enjoyed reading and would recommend to their fellow students.
"We are learning how the schools teach language, more specifically about reading at the earliest age possible," said Rafael Agabu, deputy director of the Ministry for Education, Science and Technology. "In Malawi, we have Chiccewa, our local language, and English, which we teach separately. Here, they are interchanging the languages and this is an area we are interested in and can learn from."
Down the hall in Ms. Rosales' first grade classroom, the students amazed the delegates with their knowledge of English, Spanish and Chinese.
"We want our students to be prepared for the workforce to compete in a global market," said Janet Perez, Bonham Academy principal. "These students have so much to contribute and these experiences are going to only enhance that preparedness."
When the tour was over, as a memento of their visit, the students presented and pinned homemade Fiesta medals on the delegates to take back home with them on their 31-hour flight.
The visit was in conjunction with COEHD's "Read Malawi" project, an international humanitarian effort with the U.S. Agency for International Development to provide educational materials and teacher training to improve literacy rates of children in Africa. The three-year, $13-million cooperative agreement between UTSA and the Republic of Malawi will provide 120 book titles in both English and Chichewan, the native language of Malawi, to 1,000 of the country's 5,000 public schools.
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.
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