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Roberto Ballarini Uses Online Platform to Inspire Next Generation of Civil Engineers

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By: 

Audrey Grayson

For Roberto Ballarini, chair of the Cullen College’s civil and environmental engineering department, the decision to become a professor was as much about inspiring the next generation of civil engineers as it was a passion for his field.

Early in Ballarini’s career, his zeal to inspire students to pursue engineering careers required him to travel all over the country to meet with students in K-12 classrooms. Nowadays hectic travel schedules are replaced by live video streams connecting Ballarini to hundreds of students across the U.S. each year from the comfort of his office at the UH Cullen College of Engineering.

That’s thanks to an online platform called Nepris (www.nepris.com), which connects curious K-12 students with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals through live video conferences.

Speaking with Civil + Structural Engineer Magazine, Ballarini explained how the Nepris platform allowed him to reach more potential engineering students than ever before.

“What was attractive to me about Nepris was that I could talk with students in real time, and be able to see them and answer their questions, without having to travel back and forth to the school,” he told C + S Engineer Magazine. “It gives me a much broader reach than I would have otherwise.”

Click here to the read the full article in Civil + Structural Engineer Magazine

 

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The Cullen College of Engineering at the University of Houston was a happening place this weekend — rockets launched into the sky with great puffs of smoke, robots performed amazing feats, and propeller-powered cars raced down corridors as happy shrieks filled the air.

About a thousand Houston-area girls, from grades 4-8, flooded the Cullen College and its surroundings on Saturday, March 24 for the third annual “Girls Engineering the Future Day: A STEM Event,” sponsored by Chevron.