(June 23, 2015) -- Mechanical engineering senior Christian Trevino was just goofing around in her robotics lecture class last fall when she took her assignment—to make a computer simulation of a dancing pendulum—and turned it into a disco dance party. She had no way of knowing where it would lead.
“I ended up adding music to the background and made it look really crazy,” Trevino, who graduates in August, said. “Professor Bhounsule thought it was hilarious. He’d never had a student do that.”
In January, Trevino’s mechanical engineering professor Pranav Bhounsule asked if she’d like to make a prototype. He introduced her to life-size pendulums that were parts of art exhibits all over the world. Some even lit up and used music.
“He asked me if I wanted to make a desk-size pendulum, because he was interested in taking it to the San Antonio Children’s Museum,” she said.
She finished the prototype in two months and was charmed by the kids’ reaction at the museum.
“They were so excited,” she said. “And of course they immediately wanted to pull it apart. Some asked if they could keep it.”
Trevino’s pendulum now has its own place in The DoSeum, which opened to the public June 6 after the San Antonio Children’s Museum closed its doors earlier this spring. It wasn’t long before she was welcomed by the museum to create another, larger pendulum that would light up and play music. She was also asked to write something to accompany it that would help kids become inspired by physics and engineering.
The new pendulum will be six feet tall and eight feet wide, and will be utilized as part of The DoSeum’s public programs that focus on art and engineering. According to Chris Navarro, Public Program and Community Partnership Manager, “it is great to have students participate in service learning to benefit The DoSeum. In this way, we build capacity and continue to have new and exciting demonstrations and activities for kids and their families.”
Trevino admits she never was, and still isn’t, interested in the math side of things. As a kid, she liked simple toys, especially wooden toys from across the border.
“They had no motors or anything but I was fascinated,” she said. “I think having a visual aid and seeing that first creates excitement. Once you hook kids, you show them the work that goes behind it and you hook them into learning about it.”
Watch a video of Christian’s dancing pendulum prototype here
Learn more about the College of Engineering here.
Learn more about the DoSeum here.
Get involved and register to vote. Click on the link to find out the locations on the Main and Downtown Campuses.
Multiple locations on the Main and Downtown Campuses
Learn about products and services available for studying, working, and making it to graduation! Speak directly to OIT managers, provide feedback on UTSA tech, and have your voice heard! Lunch and OIT gear provided. RSVP at: www.utsa.edu/oit/sic.
University Center, Denman Ballroom (2.01.28), Main Campus
Come meet the candidates looking to take home the crown as Mr. and Ms. UTSA 2017-2018. This is your opportunity to hear the candidates platform and learn how they plan to represent and transform UTSA.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
UTSA's Friends of Shakespeare hosts this annual performance seried by Actors from the London Stage, Sept. 27, 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Arts Building, Recital Hall (ARTS 2.03.02), Main Campus
The Monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery will prepare a mandala sand painting on the main exhibit floor and offer various lectures and activities.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
This event will focus on Language Access and Health Disparities. Workshops, a panel discussion, and a keynote address will feature experts in their fields and cover a variety of health-related topics. It's free and open to the public.
John Peace Library, Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus
Meet researchers and practitioners from academia, industry and government who are working to address smart cities related issues. Register here: https://utsaresearch.wufoo.com/forms/smart-cities-networking-luncheon/
Durango Building, La Villita Room (DB 1.116), Downtown Campus
Alisa Tobin, JET Coordinator from the Japanese Consulate in Houston, will be on the Main Campus to introduce the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program.
Business Building (BB 1.01.02), Main 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.