Abbott Announces 2015 Science and Technology Scholarships to 43 Students

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Lana ShadwickTexas Governor Greg Abbott announced the names of forty-three students who won the competition for scholarships at the 2015 Texas Science and Engineering Fair. These students will receive scholarships to attend the Governor’s Science and Technology Champions Academy. The Academy will be held on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas this summer.

“In order to remain a national leader in job creation, Texas must take the lead in training and encouraging a new generation of entrepreneurs, particularly in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields,” said Governor Abbott in a press release obtained by Breitbart Texas. “I’m proud of each of this year’s participants, and by providing our students with opportunities like the Governor’s Science and Technology Champions Academy, Texas will continue to ignite a passion for innovation and build a better and brighter future for generations to come.”

The Academy is a partnership between the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and Texas A&M University. The camp is hosted on the A&M campus in June and is one week in duration. The Aggie Academy for STEM Champions camp offers rigorous classroom experiences taught by university professors and doctoral students, according to the Academy’s website. There will be five advanced college-level tracks with hands-on laboratory activities in the areas of chemistry, biochemistry, engineering, veterinary science, and calculus.

Texas First Lady Cecelia Abbott speaks with a young science student at the Texas Science and Engineering Fair. Photo: TSEF Facebook Page

Texas First Lady Cecelia Abbott speaks with a young science student at the Texas Science and Engineering Fair. Photo: TSEF Facebook Page

Texas A&M lists the following course offering for the Academy:

Chemical Forensics

Instructor: Adriana Lunsford

Students in this course will learn about a variety of qualitative and quantitative chemistry techniques and will gain hands-on experience performing some of these techniques. Data and observations collected during these experiments will be analyzed by the students to determine the identity of an unknown compound that was discovered in a clandestine drug laboratory. Students will keep a detailed laboratory notebook as evidence of their knowledge acquisition.

Veterinary Science

Instructor: Dr. Larry Johnson

Students will engage in activities concerning the evaluation of proteins, disease frequency, body systems, differentiation of predator and prey, and learn the positive and negative effects of living with bugs. Students will get up close and personal with animals housed at the Winnie Carter Wildlife Center.

Mechanical Engineering

Instructor: Dr. Ehsan Moghbelli

The basic material categories will be discussed. Advanced and newly developed materials such as polymer systems will be introduced. The basics of sensors and actuators, along with their applications, will be shown to the class. Students will tour an Aerospace Engineering laboratory.

Biochemistry & Biophysics

Instructor: Dr. Andreas Holzenburg

Students will learn about the processes of negative staining of phages, cleaving atomic layers, image analysis, and 3D imaging. Students will also observe bacteriophages through transmission electron microscopy.


Online Instruction

In addition, the Aggie Academy for STEM Champions will participate in an online self-paced summer bridge program preparing them for college calculus through rigorous pre-calculus review with access continuing throughout the subsequent school year.

More than 1,100 middle and high school students who qualified at regional competitions competed in the Texas Science and Engineering Fair that was held in San Antonio on March 25-26. Winners from the senior division advance to the International Science and Engineering Fair competition in Pittsburgh, PA, in May.

“Through the Texas Science and Engineering Fair and the Governor’s Science and Technology Champions Academy, we are encouraging our students to explore creative solutions to current and emerging issues facing our world and developing the future leaders in STEM here in Texas,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar, who presented medals to the senior division first and second place winners in 17 project categories at the Science and Engineering Fair.

The complete list of winners can be found on the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair website.

Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.



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