UTRGV recently hosted more than 700 middle and high school students from across South Texas as they participated in the 59th annual Rio Grande Valley Regional Science and Engineering Fair (RGVRSEF).

Students competed in 22 science- and engineering-related fields of study.

The top three winners from each category, both senior and junior divisions, now advance to the Texas State Science and Engineering Fair, March 29-30 in College Station; 132 students from middle school and high schools from across the Valley will represent the region at the state competition.

The top three winners in the senior division will compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, May 17-19 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Pablo Vidal, a junior at the UTRGV Mathematics & Science Academy, was named Grand Champion in the high school division.

“It feels great to know that hard work pays off, and this award tells me that you should never give up," said Vidal, who plans to study mechanical engineering.

More than 550 projects were submitted by students representing 60 schools from school districts across the Valley. Projects were set up in the Salón Cassia on the UTRGV Brownsville Campus, the Jacob Brown Auditorium and the Garza Gym on the Texas Southmost College campus.

Dr. Mahmoud Quweider, UTRGV associate dean of Outreach and Online Programs for the UTRGV College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, walked through the Jacob Brown Auditorium and viewed many of the projects.

“The science and engineering fair was a great gathering of our local bright, thoughtful and creative students, who did an awesome job displaying how talented they are, and how engaged they are in the STEM fields and in trying to come up with the next wave of innovations that will shape our future,” Quweider said. “I was impressed with the students and their work and congratulate all the students who participated.”

The UTRGV Office of Community Relations organizes the Regional Science and Engineering Fair, working with area teachers who help students with their projects, and with volunteers and educators who volunteer their time to serve as judges during the two-day event.

“Contributions from our sponsors and devotion from our diverse group of teachers, volunteers and staff allow us to advance the best STEM-focused students to the state and international fairs,” said Milton Hernandez, UTRGV program coordinator. “We are grateful for their support.”



The Science and Engineering Fair is one of three events the UTRGV Office of Community Relations hosts in February that are geared toward STEM – science, technology engineering and mathematics – education and career awareness.

MathCounts will take place on Feb. 9 and is a national program that offers four levels of competition featuring both a rigorous written competition and a fast-paced oral competition.

Regional Science Bowl will take place on Feb. 16. A fast-paced question-and-answer tournament, the Science Bowl is designed to test students’ knowledge in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, astronomy, earth science and general science.

For a complete list of winners and photos from the RGV Science Fair, please visit https://www.utrgv.edu/regional-science-fair/index.htm.