Texas Tech Partnerships Earn State Awards

A Texas Tech University program director and a partnership with a Lubbock middle school earned statewide awards Jan. 27 in Austin as part of the 2009 State Education Awards Program.

The Texas Association of Partners in Education (TAPE), which celebrates Texas education partnerships, recognized Martha Hise as outstanding partnership advocate. Hise is the director of Texas Tech's Institute for the Development and Enrichment of Advanced Learners and chairman of the Lubbock Independent School District's Partners in Education program.

Texas Tech's Whitacre College of Engineering and the Texas Tech School of Art won the Crystal Award for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) community partnerships for their Dream Bike Project.

The Low Rider Dream Bike Project with Atkins Middle School combined the School of Art and T-STEM Center to educate students on math, art and science by utilizing the low rider bicycle culture as a means to teach students.  Forty-three students participated in the project, which began with a trip to the Texas Tech campus to learn the role of the bicycle in different societies. Students then worked in teams to assemble their own bicycles, donated by the T-STEM Center. 

The students participated in lessons in science and art in which an engineering mentor, teacher and art graduate student taught them the design process, the mathematical side of the bicycle and how aesthetic decisions can impact the functionality of a bicycle.  Students created design plans for their own bicycles and justified them in one-on-one conversations with engineering and art professors.  More than 500 volunteer hours were logged by Texas Tech volunteers. Upon completion of the modifications to their bicycles, students were taken back to the Texas Tech campus, where they spent an afternoon participating in hands-on engineering activities, touring an art gallery, considering metal sculptures that were made from bicycle concepts, and participating in a bike parade.

Find Texas Tech news, experts and story ideas at www.media.ttu.edu. CONTACT: Leslie Cranford, senior editor, Office of Communications & Marketing, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-2136, or leslie.cranford@ttu.edu.