WIT members enjoyed an Easter Weekend STEM visit to the Austin
area. The trip began with a hiking tour of Canyon Gorge on Canyon
Lake. In 2002, a flood event occurred in which water ran over the
spillway for six weeks washing away soil, rocks and trees and
revealing a gorge filled with unique geological formations,
lagoons, waterfalls, dinosaur tracks, and diverse marine fossils.
Students learned about geology, hydrogeology, environmental
science, and ecology. They also learned that Canyon Gorge is used
as a training and research site for engineers and geologist in the
petroleum industry, because the limestone formations in the Gorge
are exactly like those in the Middle East.
WIT members also got a behind the scenes tour in the Biomedical
Engineering Department at the University of Texas. Dr. James
Tunnell, Associate Professor, spoke to the students about what
biomedical engineering is in general, and more specifically about
his research in using biophotonics to diagnose cancer. Dr. Laura
Suggs spoke about her research using stem cells to generate new
heart tissue. WIT members were then taken into the labs where
graduate students gave an intimate look at the research in
The trip was topped off with a visit to Cypress Valley for a
canopy tour. WIT members flew through the trees on zip lines and
enjoyed the hill country view from sky bridges.
(By Mollie Huber)