The 4th Annual Latino College and STEM Fair 2016

Contact

Diley (Dyla) Hernandez, Ph.D.
Director, GoSTEM
Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC)
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA  30332-0282
phone:  404-385-2424
email:  diley.hernandez@ceismc.gatech.edu
www.gostem.gatech.edu

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Summaries

Summary Sentence:

The 4th Annual Latino College and STEM Fair was held at the Georgia Tech Student Center on March 19th, 2016 as part of the Atlanta Science Festival, a week-long celebration hosting 100 individual STEM-related events throughout the city.

Full Summary:

The 4th Annual Latino College and STEM Fair was held at the Georgia Tech Student Center on March 19th, 2016 as part of the Atlanta Science Festival, a week-long celebration hosting 100 individual STEM-related events throughout the city. The Fair, hosted by Georgia Tech’s GoSTEM program and the University of Georgia’s LISELL-B program offered attendees accessible information regarding the importance of higher education and STEM careers.

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The 4th Annual Latino College and STEM Fair was held at the Georgia Tech Student Center on March 19th as part of the Atlanta Science Festival, a week-long celebration hosting 100 individual STEM-related events throughout the city. The Fair, hosted by Georgia Tech’s GoSTEM program and the University of Georgia’s LISELL-B program offered attendees accessible information regarding the importance of higher education and STEM careers.

Open to the general public, the Fair targeted primarily the Latino community with Spanish-English bilingual sessions, demos, and educational materials, allowing free-flow access to information.

The day-long Fair consisted of hands-on activities, workshops, and performances where close to 80 Georgia Tech students, professors, collaborators, and other volunteers shared their passion for STEM with over 1,000 attendees. Several faculty members had a chance to showcase their cutting-edge research conducted on campus. The day provided not just STEM activities, but also an exposure to Georgia Tech’s campus, an understanding of the importance of higher education, and general information on attending college.

Deciding on career paths and determining if college ties into a student’s postsecondary plans constitutes a very important discussion for families. Aware of this, the Fair organizers, GoSTEM Educational Outreach Manager Analía Rao, Director of Hispanic Initiatives Jorge Breton, and GoSTEM Program Director Dr. Diley Hernández, planned the event to be family-oriented.

“We wanted students and families to leave the event feeling inspired and believing that they can achieve their dreams,” Rao says.

Parents have an integral role in their children education and realizing that a college career can be a reality for their children can have a substantial impact. By involving parents and K-12 children alike, the Fair created an encouraging atmosphere for families. “All of the activities can be appealing to parents too,” says Jorge Breton, Director of the Office of Hispanic Initiatives.

The 4th Annual Latino College and STEM Fair was truly a unique endeavor. The majority of events were conducted both in English and Spanish, which allowed parents whose primary language was not English to also access material easily. The entire event was intended to make students and parents feel welcome at the Georgia Tech campus. It also helped students see that higher education and STEM careers were possible paths for them. For Dr. Lizanne DeStefano, Executive Director of CEISMC and Associate Dean of the Georgia Tech College of Sciences, that awareness was priceless.

Latino faculty involvement is also seen as a powerful asset by CEISMC and GoSTEM because it provides students with positive role models with whom they can identify. “Seeing a faculty member use Spanish in a demonstration shows them that this is something they can do,” says Dr. DeStefano.

One of the most unique events offered at the Fair was the panel discussion, which helped families engage in a dialogue about the importance of education. The panel, moderated by Mariela Romero from Univision 34, consisted of Latino participants: two parents of college students, two college students, one professional and two GT faculty members. Conducted entirely in Spanish and translated into English, the event was held in front of a completely full Student Center Theatre, and it was streamed for other attendees to watch.

“Parent panelists discussed challenges they faced in the process of sending their kids to college and how to overcome them,” shared GoSTEM Director Dr. Diley Hernández, “ and students could see other Latino students telling their messages of getting into college and how it is a possible path for everyone.” Attendees reactions made clear that the panel was one the most popular events at the Fair.

In the last two years, organizers of the GT GoSTEM Latino College and STEM Fair have seen the number of attendees almost triple. Each year, on a Spring day, more Latino students and families take to walk the halls of the Student Center eager to learn more about college and career opportunities, engage with Georgia Tech faculty and students, and be amazed by science and engineering. It is in a celebration of learning, diversity, family and community, right at the heart of our campus.    

Analía Rao and Dr. Diley Hernández promote life-long learning within the Latino communities of Gwinnett County Public School District through a partnership with Georgia Tech. The GoSTEM program is currently in its fourth year and provides K-12 students, teachers, and families with educational programs. More information about GoSTEM can be found here gostem.gatech.edu.

Jorge Breton is the Director of the Office Hispanic Initiatives (OHI) at Georgia Tech. Part of Institute of Diversity, OHI was created in 2002 to help Georgia Tech recruit and retain more Hispanic and Latino students. As Director, Mr. Breton partakes in various outreach events and campus visits. He also assists Georgia Tech’s Hispanic/Latino student organizations. More information about the Office of Hispanic Initiatives can be found here

www.HispanicOffice.gatech.edu.


Written by:
Sabiha Runa
CEISMC Communications
sabiha.runa@ceismc.gatech.edu

Additional Information

Groups

College of Sciences, Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC), GoStem English, GoStem Spanish

Categories
Education, Exhibitions
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Keywords
CEISMC, CoS, GoSTEM, The 4th Annual Latino College and STEM Fair
Status
  • Created By: Steven Taylor
  • Workflow Status: Archived
  • Created On: Apr 19, 2016 - 6:13am
  • Last Updated: Jan 9, 2017 - 1:05pm