In April and May, the UH Cullen College of Engineering bustled with local fifth graders from EC Mason Elementary and Memorial Elementary who participated in the Passport to UH event hosted by the subsea engineering program.
The event aims to excite elementary school students about attending college and introduces them to the field of engineering. Students participating in the program have the unique opportunity to explore the University of Houston campus while learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM disciplines, through fun, hands-on activities such as catapult launches and egg drops.
Prior to the events, students designed and built catapults in their elementary classrooms using materials provided by the subsea engineering program. When they arrived at the Cullen College for the Passport to UH event, the students launched the catapults and competed for prizes in categories like best design and longest launch distance. The students also toured the University Center, M.D. Anderson Library, TDECU Stadium, Alumni Center and various engineering labs on campus.
The program was introduced by Matthew Franchek, founding director of the subsea engineering program and mechanical engineering professor at the Cullen College. Franchek said he plans to continue to grow the program by partnering with additional Houston area schools and offering more events throughout the year.