(June 4, 2010)--For Aneta Koynova, UTSA senior physics and astronomy lecturer, the advantages offered by solar energy are undisputable. Its lack of pollution and carbon dioxide emissions make it a completely sustainable energy source. And, according to some experts, because enough solar energy hits the sunny side of the planet in one day to meet our energy needs for 27 years, we do not have to worry about an energy crisis for the next five billion years. We just have to find an efficient way to harness it.
On May 21, Koynova, physics and astronomy laboratory supervisor James Benson and undergraduate physics major Armando Obledo taught first through fifth graders in the Harlandale ISD how solar energy works. They put the theory into practice at the Harlandale ISD Spring Fling Math and Science Festival. Using simple solar toy car kits, the scientists demonstrated how solar cells provide power.
"You should have seen the kids' eyes light up when they brought out the little cars," said Tamara Slechta, Harlandale ISD's gifted and talented student facilitator. "They were even more excited when they saw the cars could be powered by the light from a single light bulb."
Ichishiro Konno, UTSA physics and astronomy senior lecturer, also attended the festival. His presentations focused on refraction indices and sounds waves. In one presentation, Konno submerged a glass in oil to demonstrate how it disappears because the glass and the oil have the same index of refraction. In another presentation, he sprinkled salt over a plastic-wrapped bowl and asked the young students to make a loud sound over the salt. The amazed students watched as the salt made sound wave patterns.
"During Dr. Konno's presentation, the children got to learn about sound waves in an energetic and entertaining way that included lots of yelling," said Slechta. "The kids loved it -- no 'inside voice' for once! Harlandale ISD truly appreciates UTSA's dedication to math and science and its willingness to inspire future mathematicians and scientists."
UTSA researchers are exploring matter at the atomic level with Helenita. It's one of the most powerful microscopes in the world, with the ability to operate near the theoretical limit of resolution. At 9 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing more than two tons, Helenita can dissect almost anything. With Helenita's resolution, researchers can study particles atom by atom to see how they behave.
That's critical in developing nanotechnology that will help diagnosis early-stage breast cancer or make helmets that are uber strong. Moreover, the detail that Helenita provides will allow nanotechnology researchers to create new therapies and treatments to fight a wide range of human diseases.
Did you know? Helenita can magnify a sample 20 million times its size, which would make a strand of human hair the size of San Antonio.
Join AIA San Antonio’s Women in Architecture group for their networking and happy hour event, where all design professionals are welcome.
Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St.
This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle
Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.
This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.
After graduation, Queretaro native founded a music label recognized by SXSW
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