Students participating in the 2002 Texas Pre-freshmen Engineering Program (Tex PREP) recently honored The University of Texas-Pan American with an eight-foot mural for the University's 75th anniversary celebration, which runs from September through August 2003.
The mural - which depicts the school's past, present and future - features important people who have contributed to the development of the University including, H.C. Baker, UTPA's first president; Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez, UTPA president; Dr. Joseph Wiener, world-renowned mathematics professor; and Dr. Miguel Paredes, math professor and Tex PREP director.
"The purpose of the mural was to give a picture of what Pan Am was like in the past, in the present, and what ideas people have for Pan Am in the future," said Mary Garza, third-year Tex PREP student, project leader.
As part of their participation, third-year students are required to incorporate many of the skills learned during their time in the program through a "Mega Project."
"Successes such as the mega project renew my enthusiasm for cooperating with UTPA to work with the Valley school system," said Paredes.
The design and construction of the mural presented tasks that satisfy the general requirements of the engineering project.
The students were given the opportunity to work as a team to create a design that would support itself, easily move and resist damage if placed both in or outdoors.
"The traditional mega project is something that you make, you race, you compete and that's it," said Julia Alvarez, third-year Tex PREP student. "All the students who pass by the math building will be able to see the mural, and it just makes me feel really proud."
Tex PREP is an academically intense mathematics-based summer program for middle and high school students interested in careers in engineering, science and technology. Since 1985, 3,400 students have participated in the program.
For more information on Tex PREP contact Paredes at 956/381-3452.