Community Outreach

The School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering has a rich tradition of service learning and innovative programs that engage the community.

UIW is home to science that serves. Through inventive programs and organizations, SMSE students and faculty alike help to inspire a new generation of science- and mathematics-savvy young men and women.

 

Cardinal Math Circle

The Cardinal Math Circle explores the fun side of math with K-12 students! The Cardinal Math Circle provides an opportunity to the students to develop their mathematical thinking skills in a supportive, collaborative, and fun environment through engaging hands-on puzzles and games that involve both creativity and critical thinking.

UIW Department of Mathematics and Statistics faculty members and students prepared activities that encourage a sense of discovery and excitement about mathematics through problem-solving and interactive exploration. Math has a very important role in every STEM field. So stronger math foundation is very important for students planning to pursue career in STEM field as well as in any other field. The Cardinal Math Circle promotes mathematics to K- 12 students for stronger background in STEM.

UIW’s group is one of more than 200 active Math Circle programs across the country at universities including the University of Texas, Stanford and UC Berkeley, among many others.

 

GEMS: Girls in Engineering, Math and Science

The GEMS program hosts free Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) and Programming camps for middle school and high school girls from Title I schools in San Antonio. The mission of the GEMS program is to provide the opportunity for female students and their STEM teachers from low-income areas of San Antonio to attend a free high-quality and high-impact STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) summer camp where they can learn about STEAM study and careers through guest lecturers, group activities, and research.

The goal of the program is to increase the number of young women interested in STEM fields especially Engineering and Computer Programming. To achieve this goal, the GEMS program is increasing the number of female students choosing the STEM Endorsement in High School. GEMS measure its outcomes using student attendance, GPA, and High School STEM Endorsements.

Additionally, GEMS support miniGEMS and megaGEMS Clubs at select middle school and high schools throughout the academic year to sustain a continuous relationship with both GEMS teachers and their students. GEMS provides financial and technical support for these Clubs to participate in FIRST Lego League Competitions.

The first of the two programs, miniGEMS focuses on engaging middle school girls in grades 6th to 8th. Over five years, the program has grown into four two-week camps that focus on everything from computer coding and robotics to the science of food preparation. In 2019, a record-setting 198 students from three area school districts (SAISD, Judson, and Southside) attended over the course of the summer. miniGEMS was the first camp in San Antonio for middle school aged girls that had a special focus on autonomous ground, air and underwater robots.

megaGEMS focuses on high school female students in grades 9th to 12th. The program launched in 2019 in part to continue supporting girls who completed the miniGEMS programs and wanted to continue their STEAM education. The camp engages young women eager to explore computer programming, engineering, artificial intelligence, nutrition and food science, to name a few. Over two two-week camps, freshmen and sophomore alumni of the miniGEMS program will have the opportunity to elevate their STEAM understanding. Junior and senior megaGEMS can partake in a six-week immersion experience.

 

SEMI: Science, Engineering and Mathematics Institute

SEMI engages underserved districts from across the greater San Antonio area to inspire students underrepresented in STEM and motivate them to become the next generation of STEM majors and leaders. SEMI also believes in developing a student's passion for STEM careers in their youth and maintaining their interest throughout middle school, high school and into college.

The SEMI summer programs aim to provide high quality, engaging and authentic hands-on learning experiences designed to capture students' interest, cultivate their creativity and develop a passion for STEM during critical transitions: from primary to secondary to tertiary school, and from year to year in between.

In utilizing problem/project-based learning, we create ecosystems of problem identification and problem solving where students experience connected learning across a multitude of disciplines. These ecosystems help prepare students for success in life, college and career within an ever changing local, regional and global environment.

Working together with teachers, professors, staff and partners, we promote the creation and implementation of effective STEM education that results in outstanding academic achievement for all students.

GearHeads San Antonio (GHSA) camps are free two-week STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) summer camps for middle and high school students. GHSA camps were developed as an integral component of UIW's Brainpower Connection and designed to strengthen the math and science skills of participating students.

The goal of the program is to help students recognize and develop their potential to excel in STEM subjects, to encourage them to pursue postsecondary degrees in STEM majors, and ultimately choose careers in STEM professions.

The camp follows a similar format to Upward Bound camps, such that all students will participate in morning labs in four major STEM fields, and juniors and seniors have the opportunity to participate in an afternoon research project relevant to real-world research, such as wind power engineering, human body biochemistry, robotics, and more.

Participants will receive:

  • Hands-on lab experiences
  • Research experience
  • Team activities
  • Science experiments
  • Opportunities to meet and work with UIW professors and researchers
  • Insights on college and STEM careers
  • Experience in STEM fields which include Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Engineering, Environmental Science, Meteorology, and Physics.

GearHeadsSA Camps:

View the camp application.

The Upward Bound Math and Science Program

The Upward Bound Math and Science program is designed to strengthen the math and science skills of participating students. The goal of the program is to help students recognize and develop their potential to excel in STEM subjects, to encourage them to pursue postsecondary degrees in STEM majors, and ultimately choose careers in STEM professions.

The Summer Research Academy

The Summer Research Academy provides the opportunity to experience STEM in a college environment and to meet, and work with, university faculty. All students participate in morning labs in 4 major STEM fields, and juniors and seniors have the opportunity to participate in an afternoon research project relevant to real world research such as wind power engineering, human body biochemistry, robotics, and more.

  • Hands-on lab experiences
  • Research experience
  • Team activities
  • Science experiments
  • Opportunities to meet UIW professors and researchers
  • Insights on college and STEM careers
  • STEM fields include Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Engineering, Environmental Science, Meteorology, and Physics.

The Research Academy is presented in collaboration with San Antonio College, Palo Alto College, Thomas Edison High School, Highlands High School, and East Central Independent School District.