Register today to attend free live performances

  Friday, January 6, 2023
  Around Campus

By Marisol Villarreal

RIO GRANDE VALLEY – Rio Grande Valley students and families, get ready to experience an exciting live action event at UTRGV featuring explosions, bright flashes and music to get everyone dancing – and learning.

Starting Monday, Jan. 9, UTRGV will host the first on-stage science extravaganza, “Energy & U,” an educational STEM show developed by Dr. Karen Lozano, the Julia Beecherl endowed professor in mechanical engineering and director of the UTRGV Nanotechnology Center of Excellence.

The shows are free and open to the public, and will run through Saturday, Jan. 14, at the UTRGV Performing Arts Complex.

The one-hour event combines the excitement of chemical demonstrations and the natural connection between energy and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education into a fully produced live show.

The performance has a running theme of interconverting different forms of energy, while emphasizing that you cannot create or destroy energy (the First Law of Thermodynamics); you can only transform it. The show discusses the implications of this law on the global energy supply and showcases large scale, memorable energy conversions.

“We’re going to be showing the children all of the stunts we had from our virtual Energy & U presentations before, and much more,” Lozano said. “We’re very excited, but also nervous because this is our first time doing this live.” 

Energy & U at UTRGV first premiered as virtual presentations in 2021, as part of Engineers Week. The show originally was planned to be a live performance, but to adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines, Lozano created a virtual educational opportunity that helped the community learn about energy and the importance of learning and innovation in the STEM fields. More than 9,000 guests registered for the virtual show that year.

Inspired by the University of Minnesota’s Energy & U show, UTRGV’s show also was adapted into a film that premiered on the UTRGV Edinburg Campus in February 2022.

The Spanish film adaption, “Energía Y TÚ,” recently won a Lone Star Emmy in the Informational/Instructional – Short Form or Long Form Content category.

“We’re ready,” Lozano said. “It’s a show that has been proven over and over again in Minnesota to work with audiences, and now it’s time for our community here in the Valley to enjoy it.” 

To register for the upcoming live events and to learn more, visit


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.