MTU-SHPE Students Head to Grand Rapids
to Reach Out to Middle/High School Hispanic Students
A group of six SHPE students is heading to Grand Rapids to make 12 presentations at Burton Middle School in Grand Rapids during the school day on Friday, May 4. The students will reach nearly 500 students in Grades 6-8. After school, they will meet with Hispanic high school students to discuss college options and possible majors and careers.
“We want to get K-12 students interested in science and engineering careers, and in going to college, in general. We want to show them that it’s possible for them,” explained Uziel Mendez, president of the SHPE chapter at MTU and coordinator of this SHPE chapter outreach project. “I grew up in Grand Rapids. I want to reach out to Hispanic students and let them know that college is possible for them. We want to them to know they can do it.”
Mendez participated in a Family Engineering workshop held by Tau Beta Pi this past winter and got the idea to plan this outreach project. Most of the SHPE students have presented at Family Science & Engineering Nights during the past school year, so they feel ready to reach out to Hispanic middle and high school students.
The students will be using several of the Family Engineering activities. In Let’s Communicate, one student becomes the “engineer” while the other student is the “builder.” It’s the engineer’s job to tell the builder exactly what to build using 7 multi-colored LEGO bricks. It’s a lot harder than you think! The SHPE students will also present Team Up—where groups of 2-3 students compete to build the tallest, free-standing tower in less than twelve seconds—and with one hand behind their back and no talking!
The MTU-SHPE students presenting in Grand Rapids are:
**Uziel Mendez, Biomedical Engineering from Grand Rapids MI
Gilbert Ramirez, Marketing Major from Saginaw MI
Sherry Sotelo-Roman, Chemical Engineering from Hartland MI
Kaile Cota, Biology Major from Benzonia MI
Armando Flores, Scientific & Technical Communications from Saginaw, MI
Michael Briseno, Biomedical Engineering from Harrisville, MI
The MTU students will present in pairs to middle school classes, reaching more than 500 students. They will encourage the younger students to consider going to college, introduce them to engineering, and engage them in an engineering activity.
The Family Engineering Activity & Event Planning Guide provided an invaluable tool to the SHPE students in planning their presentations. Family Engineering includes fun, hands-on activities and was recently developed by Michigan Tech in partnership with the Foundation for Family Science & Engineering and the American Association for Engineering Education with a 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation. Find out more: www.familyengineering.org
The MTU-SHPE students have modeled a highly effective outreach tool for NSBE chapters nationwide to use in their local communities, benefiting both NSBE and serving as a tool for universities to potentially increase the diversity of their student body.
More on Michigan Tech Students and Family Engineering:
Family Engineering Featured at AISES Region V Conference at Michigan Tech
Michigan Tech Students Head to Detroit for Alternative Spring Break