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HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics hosts students from Goldthwaite’s Gifted and Talented STEM program

BROWNWOOD – March 21, 2019 – Students from Goldthwaite ISD’s Gifted and Talented (GT) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program visited Howard Payne University’s Winebrenner Hall on in February. The students, ranging from first through eighth grade, had the opportunity to visit with HPU faculty members and students about the fields of chemistry, technology and engineering.

Dr. Hendra Tarigan, assistant professor of engineering science, and two engineering students met with the students about engineering.

“My two students asked the young students some questions,” he said. “One of them was ‘How many transistors are used in the latest version of a processor in a laptop?’ The young students knew the answer – billions. We were so happy to interact with the 20 young students. They have curious minds especially when it comes to STEM.”

Dr. Tarigan also mentioned another activity that was of particular interest.

“The two HPU engineering science students showed the GT students how a strain gauge can be utilized to determine the strain in a bending aluminum bar,” he said. “This, in turn, can determine the modulus of elasticity and Poisson’s ratio of such a metal.”

The students were also able to watch physical science demonstrations conducted by current and former students of Dr. Derek Smith, associate professor of chemistry.

“The GT students saw student-led demonstrations of extraction and analysis of flavor compounds from culantro, flame detection of metals and blood spatter analysis,” said Dr. Smith. “All the demonstrations were led by current students in chemistry or forensics classes at HPU.”

While on campus, the students also visited with Dr. Lester Towell, professor of computer information systems, about 3D printing.

“We talked about the future of technology and the need to incorporate new ideas and concepts into our daily lives,” he said. “The students were inquisitive and fearless, which are two of the primary requirements to excel in STEM.”


Cutline: Students from Goldthwaite ISD’s GT STEM program talked with Dr. Lester Towell about 3D printing technology.