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Arrival Survival

Story by Terry Barner

They arrive in Rolla at summer’s end like explorers ending one journey and embarking anew.

After their mid-August move-in day, many of the arriving freshman class at Missouri S&T have decked out their new living quarters, met their roommates and realized their parents are no longer down the hallway.

But it’s still one week until classes begin. What is there to do for equilibrium?

Answer: Project X.

Project X is the most visual element of S&T’s Opening Week, where freshmen are introduced to the campus culture, mentor groups and avenues for future involvement long before they get the first peek at a college course syllabus.

The next afternoon, the mass of new students meets at the Puck on campus and splits into small groups. Follow the adventures of one Opening Week 2012 group, Team 42.

Team 42 forms a circle next to the library to get the lowdown on what they will do during the week from team leader Marquia Lewis, a computer science major. Lewis then explains Project X, which begins as a plastic container of parts used to assemble a remote-control vehicle that the group will decorate with a team theme. During the week’s other activities, the group earns “Miner Bucks” that can be exchanged for more parts to customize the vehicle.