Twenty Texas A&M University (TAMU) students who were part of this year’s Engineering Learning Community Introduction to Research program (ELCIR) had the opportunity to attend the TAMU Introduction to Research Course held at the Universidad Marista Merida campus, which took place from May 18 to June 1 of 2018.

The goal of the course was to give students a better understanding of research, why it is done, the benefits of it, and how they can continue towards a future that includes research as a driver for change in our society. The course covered all aspects of research, by the use of the scientific method, as applied to different regional problems set by the research strategy of the Yucatan Initiative Project, which objective is to solve existing regional problems in both the State of Texas and Yucatán.

This same course was taught at the Yucatan Polytechnic University (UPY; Universidad Politécnica de Yucatán), at the Technological Institute of Petroleum and Energy (ITPE, Instituto Tecnológico del Petróleo y Energía) and at Marista University of Merida (Universidad Marista de Mérida), following the same syllabus and visits to research labs, members of the Yucatan Research Consortium (SIIDETEY).

Students from Universidad Marista joined the ELCIR students during the entire length of the course, giving them the opportunity to work together on small group projects and get to know each other in an international educational setting.

The ELCIR course at Marista opened with a meet and greet and ice-breaking group activities to create an opportunity for the students to get to know each other.

The students attended class at Marista every weekday morning during their stay in Yucatán. After each three-hour class the students boarded a bus that took them to the respective research facility for that day, where they had hand-on experiences on a spectrum of research disciplines, offered by the research labs, members of SIIDETEY.