SAN ANTONIO – Hundreds of students from around the state and country were in San Antonio on Friday, showing off their scientific research.
The University of Texas at San Antonio was packed with scientists presenting their research, with topics ranging from cancer drug development to studying the galaxy.
"I'm looking at a galaxy that's very, very far away," 20-year-old Oscar Cantua said.
For now, Cantua is a junior at UTSA, studying astrophysics, but one day, he hopes to work for NASA. He said conventions are a huge part of his higher education, as he has one goal in mind.
"Scientific knowledge. It’s just trying to understand how our universe works," Cantua said. "What our universe is doing. What objects that are out there that are just super cool."
George Perry, dean of UTSA's college of sciences, agrees. He said the convention, which brings more than 1,000 students together, is vital to their learning.
"It's an opportunity to share expertise, get pointers on how to explore work, because this is more a training presentation, it’s tremendously valuable for students," Perry said.
It's a competition, and judges are looking for enthusiasm, understanding and contribution to the research. But not everyone’s eye is on the prize. For some students, such as Cantua, it’s all about the experience.
"I'm more in it for learning about the universe," Cantua said. "I want to learn as much as I possibly can about something I think is incredibly amazing."