AUSTIN (KXAN) - Students at the University of Texas had a special visitor on campus.
Austin-based National Instruments has embarked on a tour of the United States and Canada on a special engineering bus.
The bus showcases what students can do with engineering after they've earned their degrees.
"One of the key focuses with us on this tour, is to both inspire students to pursue engineering and science degrees," said Mark Walters, "and also equip researchers and educators with tools that allow them to do their job." Walters is the academic marketing manager for National Instruments.
Students had a chance to see how everyday technology, such as the cruise control on a car, is a concept created through engineering.
"I really glad that I'm here doing engineering," one student said. "It feels like I'm going to make a change."
Being able to present hands-on examples for students continues to be a helpful tool in making a connection between the classroom and the outside world.
"I think the big 'wow' is having an undergraduate student come in and finally understand how relevant that concept is that they were studying for in class," Walters said, "and to (be able to) put that into perspective of some type of application and how that thing they were learning can be applied."
According to statistics, the number of students graduating with degrees in engineering has steadily declined over the last twenty years.
"It's getting to a point where we think that this is - it's very important for us not only today but also sustainably in the future to be able to solve some these tougher society problems by having the people with the skill set and background to be able to tackle these kind of challenges," Walters said.
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Santa visited Austin early on Sunday, joining hundreds of motorcyclists for their annual Toy Run.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
Austin Police confirm they have located an 82-year-old women who went missing last night.