A sea-centric oasis in the heart of the desert, Texas Star Oyster Bar serves up a tongue-tantalizing menu of fresh fish dishes and stiff signature cocktails inspired by taste traditions stretching from the Bayou to the Gulf. Begin your culinary quest with a Texas mai tai, Malibu rum and a hint of Southern Comfort mingling with orange and pineapple juice in a geometrically challenged 10-gallon hat ($7.50). Next, slurp down a half dozen fresh oysters on the half shell ($11), or throw back an edible shooter such as the tequila madness, an oyster lounging with Sauza tequila, spicy tomato juice, and fresh lime in a shot glass ($4). Entrees include hearty classics such as New Orleans gumbo ($18), as well as lighter options including the mediterranean salmon sautéed with olive oil, white wine, tomato, capers, and basil ($16).
Every year, Legacy High School robotics team The IncrediBULLS builds a working robot from scratch. With raw materials such as aluminum and screws, they brainstorm and build a mechanical creation, programming it to respond to the world. Six weeks is all they have though, so they work hand-in-hand with professional scientists and engineers as they explore the fundamentals of STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and mechanics—and dip their toes into scientific-career fields. Once they complete the robot, the team showcases it at community events, such as the Las Vegas Science Festival, to spread the word about the program and the brightness of their futures. Then, they compete against other high-school teams from around the country at the 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition, striving for the national title.
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Founder and member of an elite foreign Special Forces team, this tactical adventures instructor has since lent his expertise to military and SWAT teams as well as drug-enforcement organizations. Today, he dedicates his expertise to Vegas Tactical Adventures, where clients engage in scenarios designed to boost adrenaline and instill defensive strategies. These include everything from an adventure based on the Bourne movies to a women's Femme Fatale course, during which they learn to shoot a crossbow and jump from a moving vehicle. Always with an eye toward safety, the business maintains a strict zero-tolerance policy for those they deem unfit to participate.
The FAA-certified commercial pilots at West Air Aviation guide fledgling aviators through pilot classes and take tourists on airborne odysseys over downtown Las Vegas. Through expert one-on-one lessons, students flyers can earn their pilots license, as the team says, "almost as easily as their driver's license." Meanwhile, guests embarking on site-seeing tours enjoy breathtaking vistas of downtown Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam, and Nevada's expansive natural landmarks from enclosed cockpits. The team's fleet of propeller-powered biplanes and single-wing planes nest at North Las Vegas Airport, taking to the skies on days, nights, and weekends.
Director of Red Rock Fencing Center Frank Van Dyke is a longtime expert when it comes to the sport, with more than 30 years as a fencer, coach, and referee. He trained under one Olympian and three Olympic coaches before becoming a certified member of the U.S. Fencing Coaches Association and ascending to the board of the United Fencing Federation. The energetic Van Dyke does not rest on his laurels, competing to maintain world-class A-rated abilities with an épée, which crowns his talent with foil and sabre. In both instruction and competition, he draws techniques from German, Russian, Chinese and American Olympic schools, and specializes in strip and team tactics.
The fencing center embodies both Van Dyke's zeal for excellence and dedication to his community. Olympic and World Cup instructors teach skills in all three weapons to competitive and amateur students, who parry across custom flooring designed to absorb the shocks to joints and muscles caused by forceful lunges and sudden NASA landings. Every Saturday, the team hosts a public tournament for anyone who contributes to its accompanying potluck, and heads beyond the center to work with boy scouts and schoolchildren.
At Ace Bartending's 40-foot bar, ice clinks against glasses and prospective mixologists chatter during hands-on courses. Instructors wax informational about the history and production of liquor before outlining state and municipal legal requirements for serving alcohol or distributing liquor to horses. As students progress, they migrate to eight functional bartending stations that feature working carbon dioxide lines, and lessons feed hungry brains tidbits of information on the use of glassware and garnishes to craft a beverage with fitting aesthetic appeal. The curriculum bounds across a bubbling, colorful rainbow of 200 different drinks and recipes.
In addition to hands-on demonstrations and role-playing exercises, courses hand down lessons on how to land a job as a bartender and give tips for job interviews. The classroom's walls, like those of a real bar, are crowded with colorful bottles, lit by crackling neon beer signs, and held together by flyers for bands seeking bassists.