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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Activities & Organizations

UH student engineers, scientists win at national symposium

A group of UH students is still on cloud nine after bringing home first place in a national decathlon.

Members of UH’s student chapter of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists took top honors at the organization’s national symposium in Anaheim, Calif. | Courtesy of Ben Mellado

The UH chapter of the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists took first place in the overall competition at the organization’s National Symposium held Sept. 29 through Oct. 2 in Anaheim, Calif.

The chapter has participated in national symposiums before, and with larger numbers, but this year was different.

“Due to lack of funding and timing of the event, our numbers were low this time,” chapter president Ben Mellado said. “I wanted to make it up by coming up big in all the competitions and events.”

The decathlon consisted of five separate categories: a science, technology, engineering and mathematics exam; a poster competition; resume analysis; elevator speech; company commercial and “familia feud.”

Ashley McGinty, Mohamed Mohamed, Illiana Rangel and Julio Sanchez joined Mellado for the national competition.

Selecting the team for the decathlon was up to Mellado, and he drew on the strengths of each member who attended the symposium.

“Each of the members were delegated certain competitions, and each of them had the perfect recipe for the events,” Mellado said.

In true team fashion, all members contributed in their own way for all competitions and for the win.

“I have learned that you do not have to take a big group in order to represent your school right, you just need the right people,” Mellado said.

The size of the group did not hinder the groups spirit, however.

“Although our group was small compared to other years, we still represented UH by chanting “Whose house?” throughout the whole event.”

Several universities around the country attended the competition along with UH, among them the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University and Purdue University.

“It felt great to lead our members into our first-place finish, beating out schools like MIT, Purdue and A&M,” Mellado said.

Fellow MAES members Rogelio Mellado, Juan Morfin, Maria Navas, Nestor Barroso, Megan Planas, Araceli Olazaba and Eric Trevino also provided supporting ideas to help secure the win at the national competition.

MAES UH chapter has been around for more than 30 years, impacting the UH community and also the surrounding Houston community.

The organization hosts different activities during the year to interact and get involved with teenagers and young adults who have a strong interest in science and a possible future in engineering.

MAES will host its Science Extravaganza for high school students on Nov. 5.

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