UH Hosts Governor’s Science and Technology Champions Academy

The University of Houston will welcome 50 of the state's brightest high school students to participate in the Governor's Science and Technology Champions Academy June 15-20, 2014 on the University of Houston campus.

Sponsored by Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Workforce Commission, the five-day residential summer camp brings together winners from the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair (EMTSEF), which was held in March at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.

The theme of the Academy is “Energy Entrepreneurs Education.”  Throughout the week, students will expand their knowledge of educational pathways that lead to energy careers and learn about the key role held by entrepreneurs in the industry. They will attend field trips filled with scientific discovery; meet leaders and entrepreneurs in the renewable and non-renewable energy fields; and participate in a variety of hands-on activities.

One of the highlights of the Academy is the trip to the Port of Houston. Participants will hear how the Port Authority prepared for the Panama Canal expansion and how this affects the liquid natural gas industry. Later, everyone will get aboard the 95-ft. Marine Vessel Sam Houston to tour the Port to learn about operations, and environmental innovations, such as the construction of two new stevedore buildings made from shipping containers.

While on the UH campus they will tour the new  plant facilities utilizing smart grid technologies and cutting edge innovations to increase building efficiency. On another day, the students will conduct laboratory explorations and study microbial fuel cell energy generation with Dr. Rupa Iyer, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and Biotechnology Programs Director in the College of Technology.

Other partners supporting portions of the program will include SURGE Accelerator, the Webber Energy Group of UT Austin, CenterPoint Energy, HARC, and Shell Exploration and Production. The program is affiliated with the UH STEM Center and the UH Energy Initiative.

On the final day, June 20, participants will make presentations in the “Smart Tank” competition. They will present their ideas for an innovative business, or product pertaining to energy and entrepreneurship to a panel of judges who will select winners.

The Academy’s organizers from the UH College of Technology include Dr. Raymond Cline, Information Technology Department Chair and Karen Cohen, Governor’s Academy 2014 Director.

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing excellent faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation’s fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 39,500 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.

About the College of Technology

For more than 70 years, The College of Technology has inspired innovation and uniquely equipped industry leaders with broad engineering and technical knowledge, critical thinking, teamwork and computing skills. With more than 4,000 students, the college offers accredited bachelor’s and master’s degrees in wide-ranging disciplines from engineering technologies and biotechnology to consumer sciences, digital media, and human resource development. A strong partnership with industry provides students the experience of addressing real-world issues.