(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."
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
Aspiring doctor hopes to change medical attitudes toward obesity-related ailments
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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