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Area Students Build Cardboard Canoes at UTEP


Photo courtesy of UTEP
Photo courtesy of UTEP
 
The University of Texas at El Paso’s College of Engineering is hosting the annual Excellence in Technology, Engineering and Science (ExciTES) Summer Institute for area middle and high school students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from July 26 through 29.

The students participating in the camp will be introduced to a variety of engineering fields including electrical, materials, civil and mechanical engineering by way of problem-based, design-oriented projects.

“It’s a unique program,” said Michael Meraz, senior electrical engineering major, engineering ambassador and co-organizer of the event. “It allows us to relate our knowledge (with the students) so they may build interest in any one of the STEM fields they might want to pursue in college.”

The most anticipated project with the students, according to Meraz, is the cardboard canoe race. Students will begin building their canoes at 9 a.m. Thursday, July 29 in the Engineering and Biology Breezeway. The canoes then will be transferred to the Swimming and Fitness Center at 11:30 a.m., where they are scheduled to race at noon.

Students will be divided up into groups of two for the competition. The groups will race each other in the pools of the Swimming and Fitness Center, where they will be judged on design, their canoe’s stability and how many laps it can successfully complete.

The two primary objectives of the program are to create awareness of diverse STEM fields and to generate interest in the University’s colleges of engineering and science.

Other events during the week will include a computer assembly project at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 27; a hot air balloon construction activity at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 28; and “Rocket Time,” at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 28.

Originally posted on News @ UTEP.