EL PASO — The University of Texas at El Paso celebrated its 100th year by opening up the campus to the community to let residents discover what the university offers its 21ist century students.
The public was encouraged to visit the campus from April 9th to April 13th to interact with staff and students from several departments and different programs available at the University.
Academic Technologies in the Undergraduate Learning Center (UGLC) showed visitors 3-D printers in action and the various types of objects that are made by the printers. The objects can range from simple designs such as action figures, to more complicated, intricate designs like cubes and parts for unmanned drones.
“3-D printers can be used for almost anything,“ said Steve Varela, Associate Director of Academic Technologies, “if a part breaks in the shop, we don’t even have to order it anymore, we can just scan it, and print it out. There are some printers that even print food, like elegant designs for chocolate”.
The booth also flew a few drones around the lobby of the building, and ran virtual interactive program that let visitors see places that aren’t normally accessible, such as 1920’s Harlem. Down the hall, there were more 3-D printers and even a pair of Google Glass eyeglasses that visitors could try on and interact with.
On the other side of campus in the Liberal Arts building, a documentary the Language and Linguistics department produced last year during a trip to Spain was screened. They also served an array of food from all over the world including dumplings, tamales, rice, and several deserts.
The college of Liberal Arts wasn’t the only college that had activities though, all of the other six colleges also had something to present. The colleges Health Sciences had 100 minutes of dancing to help promote physical activity. Participants were encouraged to dress up in their favorite decade‘s dance attire.
The Department of Music had Mariachis Los Mineros in the Fox Fine Arts courtyard from 3 to 4 p.m. on Friday and the College of Engineering and the Music Department collaborated on and promoted Steel Drum Legacy Gallery: Metallurgical & Materials for the entire duration of the open house.
Musical acts were performed at the Centennial Museumwith Music on the Museum Lawn and museum tours were offered including tours of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens and the various plants grown there.
Inside of the museum an exhibit, UTEP in the News, explored the history and evolution of UTEP. Fortunately, it was not limited to the open house and will run through January of 2015.
These were just a few of the more than a 100 events and displays that spanned the five days of the centennial celebration with more than 2000 persons attending.