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HESTEC Week begins UTRGV highlights STEM studies

The U.S. Navy Band Southeast Brass Quintet performs during HESTEC Educator Day on Oct. 3, 2016 at UTRGV’s Fieldhouse. Educators from across the Rio Grande Valley gathered for the opening of the 15th annual Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology Week.

HESTEC Week is underway with numerous events organized by the Office of Community Relations.

Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology Week began in 2002 and offers engaging opportunities for the community.

Educator Day will kick off the week. During today’s event, different speakers will teach and encourage others to study in the STEM field. Keynote addresses will be given by Stephen Ritz, creator of the Green Bronx Machine, and Scott Thompson, assistant executive director of the Panasonic Foundation. The event is from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the University Ballroom on the Edinburg campus. It will feature a panel discussion on STEM literacy. Three hundred  teachers, sponsors, superintendents and other officials are expected to attend.

Student Leadership Day will follow on Tuesday. It will allow high school and college students to discuss and ask questions on pursuing STEM careers. The event will be hosted from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the UTRGV Fieldhouse on the Edinburg campus.

During Latina Day on Wednesday, high school girls and their mothers can interact with minority women from different backgrounds and careers. Speakers will include Cristina Solis-Wilson, of the CM Institute of Leadership; Sarah Sagredo-Hammond, an owner of Atlas RGV, who will talk about networking and communication; and Bridgett Krause, executive director of the John Maxwell team, who will talk about leadership.

For Latina and Student Leadership days, more than 500 high school students and around 100 sponsors, visitors and special guests are expected to attend.

Thursday, Robotics Day will take place at the Jacob Brown Auditorium in Brownsville. The event will host 55 teams, which consist of middle and high school students. About 450 students, coaches and guests are expected.

At the U.S. Navy SeaPerch Challenge on Friday at Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District’s Aquatic Center, students can make a remotely operated underwater vehicle. More than 350 students, coaches and guests are expected.

The Middle School Challenge, scheduled Tuesday through Friday on the Edinburg campus, will have STEM-focused workshops. Officials expect 1,000 people to attend.

The Fall Career Expo, scheduled Wednesday in Brownsville and Friday in Edinburg, will have representatives from numerous organizations ready to recruit students from all majors for internships and jobs.

Lastly, Community Day is scheduled for Saturday and will end HESTEC Week with interactive workshops, exhibits and live music. UTRGV Mariachi Aztlán, Retoño, Eddie Saenz, Del Castillo and Matt & The Herdsmen will perform.

“There are lots of activities during Community Day we would love the public and college students to come to,” said Velinda Reyes, assistant vice president for Community Programs and Operations.

The HESTEC events also showcase the university.

“It’s a platform for us to be able to highlight all the wonderful resources that the university has to our community,” said Karen Dorado, director of Special Programs and Community Relations.

For more information, contact Dorado at karen.dorado@utrgv.edu or Reyes at velinda.reyes@utrgv.edu.

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