The Yucatán Polytechnic University (UPY; Universidad Politénica de Yucatán) just opened its doors in the fall of 2016 and hosted its first educational international program in partnership with Texas A&M University (TAMU).

24 A&M Students participating in the Engineering Learning Community Introduction to Research (ELCIR) program in Mérida, Yucatán, México took an Introduction to Research course hosted by the brand new University, from May 11 to the 27 of 2018. 13 students from UPY applied and were accepted into the course as well. This gave students the opportunity to collaborate in an educational setting and have a diverse cultural experience while learning about the fundamentals of research and its impact in society.

The purpose of the Introduction to Research course is to teach and prepare students for all aspects of research. They learned how research is conducted, in detail, by the use of the scientific method, and how impactful research can be on society. This same course was taught at the Universidad Marista de Merida, with the other 20 students participating in the ELCIR Program, following the same syllabus and visits to research institutes, which are members of the Yucatan Research Consortium (SIIDETEY).

The course began on Monday evening with an hour of introductory activities to get to know one another better and start the collaboration between students. Split into smaller groups, several games were played to encourage the students to be active and social. Games such as Hopscotch, a dodgeball game, and games similar to tag were played.

Following the games was a classroom introduction led by Professor John Walewski, Associate Professor of Practice in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at TAMU, who was the lead instructor over the two-week period at UPY.

The students attended class at UPY every weekday morning that they were in Yucatan. After each three-hour class the students boarded a bus that took them to the respective research facility for that day, where they had hands-on experiences on a spectrum of research disciplines.

To see more pictures from the students course at UPY follow this link to our Flickr Album