Several scholarships to be handed out at Tech Night

Lee College will give away a dozen scholarships to lucky students who attend Tech Night, an annual event that showcases technical programs of study.

High-school students from surrounding districts, current college students and members of the community are all invited to Tech Night, to be held from 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 8, in the Lee College Sports Arena. Through hands-on demonstrations, exhibits and one-on-one conversations with instructors, participants will learn about the wide variety of programs available at the college that can lead to jobs in the technical, industrial, science and health care fields.

Representatives from several programs will be on hand to answer questions and discuss opportunities, including: process technology; computer technology; electrical and instrumentation technology; industrial studies, such as welding, pipefitting, millwright and machine tech; logistics; professional administrative technology; allied health; nursing; physics; and pre-engineering.

Tech Night attendees will be able to participate in a raffle to win one of 12 student scholarships ranging from $200-500, along with other prizes. There will also be information available about the non-credit courses offered through the Center for Workforce and Community Development, and the resources and services provided through Student Affairs, Financial Aid and the Educational Opportunity Center.

Women’s History Month observed

Through music, an exhibit featuring the work of two local female artists and student presentations, Lee College recently recognized Women’s History Month and celebrated the achievements and contributions that generations of women have made to the world.

Instructor Maria Garcia opened the Women’s History Month reception with an explanation of the month’s origins and an overview of important women’s rights issues, such as the salary gap between male and female workers. After a performance by musicians Nick and Amy Novak, who played songs written and popularized by female artists like Carole King, college students shared original poetry and research papers about the image of women and minorities in society and the fight for women’s suffrage.

Adorning the walls of the gallery as part of Women’s History Month is the work of Mari Omori and Camila Labarca Linaweaver, whose art focuses on similar themes of home, the sense of belonging that one searches for and the journey one takes to arrive at that place. The exhibit will be on display through Thursday, March 27.

Born and raised in Japan, Omori is an award-winning multimedia artist, art educator and curator. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree from UCLA and is currently a professor of art at Lone Star College-Kingwood. In addition to photos from a recent trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, and a series of paintings made with a natural red dye often used in the region, Omori’s work in the gallery includes an installation about mother-daughter relationships that features hundreds of cards written, drawn and submitted by people from around the country.

A native of Chile who immigrated to Baytown at age 7 and later graduated from Lee College, Linaweaver is a printmaker and painter. She recently earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Many of her wood-cut prints on display at the gallery reflect the power and beauty of nature. Her pieces depict a whale in the sea, crashing waves, the colors of the sunset, leaves, trees, flowers and other natural elements.

STEM DAY draws more than 400

Outside instructor Margene Lenamon’s classroom last week at Lee College, a masking-tape outline on the floor — mimicking the chalk outlines of bodies found at grisly crime scenes — welcomed high school students into a lesson centered on forensic science.

Inside the classroom, students found laboratory tables piled high with bone fragments, x-rays, microscopes and kits to be used for collecting and examining DNA. College students stood close by, ready to offer a helping hand.

“We want you to interact, we want you to pick up, we want you to look at, we want you to do,” Lenamon told the students, who were among more than 400 registered participants of the college’s STEM Day event held Friday, Feb. 28, to encourage exploration of science, technology, engineering and math.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors from eight nearby school districts were invited to Lee for STEM Day, which was funded through a federal STEM grant for Hispanic-serving institutions. The students rotated through the Gray Science Building and had their pick from a wide variety of interactive, informational sessions created and led by college instructors.

In one room, a group of sophomores shared their career aspirations with instructor Yinfen Yen in a session about microbes. In another, students donned safety goggles and mixed glue, borax and water to create a bouncy, rubbery “slime” in a session about chemistry and polymers. There were also sessions about the harmonic structure of music as sound waves, forensic ballistics, the human body, environmental science and even the process of refining oil.

“Our goal is to inspire students to look at STEM fields and show them what’s really out there,” said instructor Evan Richards, who coordinated the event and taught a popular session where students used computer software to program robots. “I really want to awaken their minds to all that is possible.”