(July 20, 2011)--How much water does San Antonio use in a day? Why is chlorine added to drinking water? How do you clean up an oil spill? Fourth-year students in the Prefreshman Engineering Program had a chance this month to ask their water-related questions when they toured the UTSA Environmental Engineering Laboratory with Assistant Professor Heather Shipley.
The wet lab, which is equipped with tools to study water quality, pollution control and water/wastewater treatment processes, gave the 40 high school students an opportunity to learn about Shipley's current research on nanoparticles. The field trip to the lab coincides with a series of lessons on water science in which the PREP 4 students also learned about the history of the acequias and aquifer in San Antonio.
In addition to the Environmental Engineering Lab, the students toured UTSA's new Advanced Visualization Lab and have plans to visit other science and engineering laboratories on campus before the seven-week summer program ends.
"We've always had faculty come give talks to our PREP students as part of our career awareness," said Paul Uhlig, PREP site director. "But, having the researchers present in their own labs takes the concept to the next level and really demonstrates how PREP can feed into careers for these students."
PREP began 32 years ago at UTSA to encourage students, especially minorities and female students, to pursue careers in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
"When we talk to these students and show them what we're working on, we have the potential both to recruit them to UTSA and to get them excited about environmental engineering," said Shipley, who was the first woman to join the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in 2007.
Civil engineering student Jessica George, who also is a College of Engineering Ambassador and works in Shipley's laboratory, talked to the students about her experience and encouraged them to get involved with research as undergraduates. Shipley and George said they were both gratified to see that about half of the PREP 4 students are female.
"Having more women in the sciences is very important to me," George said.
Doctoral student Jinxuan Hu also spoke to the students about his research.
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.