ERIC Number: EJ804882
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul-30
Reference Count: N/A
Building Bridges to the Future
Cech, Scott J.
Education Week, v27 n44 p22-24 Jul 2008
Launched last year, the SciTech Summer Camp is a joint project being led by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corp. (HENAAC). SciTech was created to get more Hispanic students into the so-called STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. SciTech campers spend four days on a given university's campus, sleeping in dorm rooms and eating in the dining hall like regular college students. Aside from bridge building exercise, the students are also attempting to build a bridge to studying STEM fields in higher education and, after college graduation, to working in those fields. That is significant for the future of the students, most of whom would be the first in their families to attend college, and could help correct the nation's disproportionately low percentage of Hispanics in STEM fields. The significance is also nationwide. Amid widespread warnings that rising numbers of STEM professionals in such nations as India and China are putting the United States' traditional engineering predominance at risk, leaders in academia, industry, and the Latino community itself increasingly see Hispanics--the nation's fastest-growing population segment--as a natural source for quickly ramping up the number of homegrown engineers and other technical professionals. It is too early to gauge how effective the camp will be in turning young Hispanics toward STEM careers. However, the SciTech camp idea has already been enthusiastically embraced by several companies and agencies that depend on a technically advanced workforce.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Engineering, Hispanic American Students, High School Students, Summer Programs, Partnerships in Education, Mathematics, Sciences, Technology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado