“Eew. Are those real?” could be overheard repeatedly as students noticed a pair of bright pink lungs on display at San Antonio College’s first STEM-ulate Science Showcase. Yes, they were real. Students were invited to press a pump and watch the swine lungs inflate and then deflate as air was released. This exhibit represented the biology portion of the STEM-ulate Science Showcase, which was organized to introduce students to all of the sciences. Other exhibits included an iodine clock, magnetic levitation, ferrofluid, a 3-D Karst topography puzzle, a math exercise involving Pascal's triangle, and a computer password hacking demonstration.
Exhibitors included geology tutor Carlos Flores, multimedia specialist Aaron Ellis and faculty members Anne Dietz (Geology), Frank Perez (Math), Troy Touchette (Computer Information Systems), Krishnan Madappat (Chemistry), Robyn McGilloway (Biology), and Alfred Alaniz (Astronomy/Physics).
The STEM-ulate Science Showcase also offered students interested in pursuing STEM degrees an opportunity to learn about on-campus student groups like SACNAS, MAES, SPS, SWE and the computer club (AITP). As a part of a federal Title V grant, San Antonio College is expected to form a new Geology Club.
In total, over 25 students signed up to help start the college’s geology club. Also, another 15 students expressed an interest in starting and joining a Biology club. By the end of the day, each of the student organizations left the fair with a solid list of potential new members. Plans have already started for the next STEM-ulate: Science Showcase.
In August, 2012, ten members of SAC’s faculty and staff (along with one student) visited the Sul Ross State University campus and learned more about the unique field research opportunities available to students in and around the West Texas Chisos mountain range. While there, SAC geology Major Reuben Uribe met with SRSU graduate students and was invited to participate in hydrology field research the following week. This unexpected invitation is a prime example of the collaboration that can develop organically from the San Antonio College-Sul Ross State University partnership.
In April, 2012, Sul Ross State University hosted the first site visit in Alpine,
Texas for seven San Antonio College delegates. Faculty and staff from
both institutions met their counterparts, toured the university campus, visited
the McDonald Observatory and explored Big Bend National Park together.