(Aug. 19, 2010)--For 13 years, the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) has supported the San Antonio Prefreshman Engineering Program (PREP), a rigorous seven-week summer camp that teaches middle and high school students abstract reasoning and problem-solving skills to introduce them to careers in engineering. The program reaches nearly 4,000 Texas students each year.
Last year, SAWS gave $60,000 to sponsor PREP's ongoing programming for middle and high school students and an additional $35,000 to sponsor University PREP (UPREP) students majoring in engineering. At the PREP July 30 closing ceremony, Mayor Julian Castro and SAWS leaders pledged $100,000 to continue their support of PREP.
Engineer Marisa Martinez, manager of the SAWS treatment and recycle engineering department, learned about PREP when she was in the sixth grade from a teacher at Tafolla Middle School. Including Martinez, SAWS employs eight PREP alumni.
"That was when I discovered the field of engineering and, even more importantly, I discovered and experienced what it was like to step onto a college campus," said Martinez. "PREP was a life-changing experience for me. Engineering and college became a mission for me."
The only one of her siblings to graduate from college, Martinez ranked first in her graduating class at Sidney Lanier High School and went on to attend Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
"When students leave San Antonio to go to college, there is a small chance they will return home to work like I ultimately did," said Martinez. "If there's a way to support those students through internships or job opportunities so they stay in San Antonio, everybody wins. PREP and SAWS are developing that bridge."
"SAWS is proud to support the PREP program and encourage students to pursue science and engineering careers that will contribute to our community," said Robert R. Puente, SAWS president and CEO. "We can also attest to the success of PREP graduates, as several former students now work for SAWS, providing a wide variety of services for San Antonio."
"We are thrilled to be working with SAWS to train the next generation of successful engineers," said Rudy Reyna, PREP executive director. "It is only through the support of SAWS and sponsors like SAWS that we have been able to sustain and grow PREP to the size and scope it is today. SAWS is committed to the education of our youth and to giving back to our community."
San Antonio Water System
Since 1992, San Antonio Water System has provided leadership in managing and developing water resources in the San Antonio region. Water and wastewater services are provided to more than 1 million customers.
Prefreshman Engineering Program
In 1979, UTSA launched PREP with 44 students. This summer, 1,375 PREP students in San Antonio, 2,600 PREP students across Texas and 500 students in other states participated in the program. PREP is presented over four summers to students entering grades seven to eleven. In the first year, participants study engineering principles and logic applications to mathematics. In the second year, students learn about algebraic structures and introductory physics. In year three, students are introduced to probability and statistics and technical writing. In the fourth year, they learn about system dynamics, water science and computer science. University PREP also is available after year three, where students take college classes in mathematics, engineering and science for college credit.
Lisa Carrington Firmin, UTSA associate provost for veteran and military affairs, will deliver the keynote at this summit where veterans and professional leaders will share best practices regarding veteran-related opportunities.
The Club at Sonterra, 901 Sonterra Blvd., San Antnio
Conversations on Science and Art is hosted by UTSA Art Collection and UT Health San Antonio Research. It features an interview with artist, remarks by VP for Research Dr. Andrea Giuffrida, followed by a roundtable QA with curator Arturo Almeida.
South Texas Research Facility, Lobby 8403 Floyd Curl Dr. San Antonio
Campers in 9th grade through college will receive instruction and coaching on agility testing and position specific drills to refine and improve his skillset as a football player.
Recreational Field Complex, Main Campus
Inspired by UTSA's renowned Mexican Cookbook Collection, the evening features cuisine and spirits of celebrated chefs from San Antonio and Mexico.
Hotel Emma, 136 E. Grayson St., San Antonio
Experience a fun, interactive week at UTSA as new students and their families take the first steps to becoming a Roadrunner.
Various locations, Main Campus
Campers 6-12 years old will enjoy the summer learning to read, write and speak the Chinese language. They also will learn about the Chinese culture such as martial arts, painting and drawing, arts and crafts and more.
Confucius Institute at UTSA (MB 1.208), Main Campus
Campers 7th grade and up will focus on individual development with emphasis on simplifying and teaching the specific skills and movements associated with the game. Serving, passing, setting, attacking and individual defense will all be covered. In addition, team concepts will be emphasized.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
Celebrate Texas' diversity with authentic ethnic cuisine, music, dance, arts and crafts from the many countries that make up the rich heritage of Texas.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair 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.