April 28, 2006
Katelyn Pratt, Contributing Writer
What do athletics and engineering have in common? On Saturday, these two interests will merge in the annual Visioneering event hosted by Southern Methodist University.
The new theme, "Athletics of the Future," will combine engineering students, Dallas industry engineers and SMU athletes to reach out to middle school students from 56 different schools about the importance of engineering.
The goal of this project is "to get kids excited about engineering and to get their teachers excited about engineering," according to Betsy Willis, director of student programs and outreach.
In addition to the design competition and award ceremony, Visioneering is featuring a tech expo that exhibits the latest and greatest technology. Will Lawrence and Brent Callaway, from Velocity Sports Performance, are keynote speakers who have worked with professional athletes to improve athletic performance. Lawrence is the strength coordinator and Callaway is the speed and multi-direction coordinator at Velocity Sports Performance.
"They work with student and professional athletes on techniques to enhance their performance.
The students attending will get to try out these techniques they teach and use some equipment that these athletes get to use," said Willis.
Torrence Robinson, the director of public affairs for Texas Instruments, will also speak at the event. Robinson is the co-founder and advisor to the Infinity Project.
The Infinity Project exposes students in K-12 and early college years to engineering and helps students see the value of math and science. Southern Methodist University is currently a university partner of the Infinity Project.
Visioneering also highlights SMU athletes. Jennifer Basel, an SMU NCAA swimmer and first year student, will be another keynote speaker. Basel is a Presidential Scholar and a triple major in mechanical engineering, math and chemistry with a minor in physics.
Students will also engage with other SMU NCAA athletes and engineers. These athletes will answer questions and provide motivation for other student athletes interested in pursuing math and science.
"Our SMU athletes are a highlight. They are a real life example for the kids of an athlete and an engineer," said Willis.
The event will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Moody Coliseum and will be broadcast on the Dallas television station Cable Channel One. For more information visit http://www.theinstitute.smu.edu/visioneering.