The 5th Annual Latino College and STEM Fair draws Spanish-speaking families to Georgia Tech
Apr 7, 2017 | Atlanta, GA
A boy's eyes widen as he watches how crushed spinach glows under ultraviolet light. A girl smiles as she dons a kid-sized NASA astronaut suit and has her picture taken at the “Be Who You Want to Be” photo booth. A middle school girl listens intently with her parents to talks about college and career paths.
All these happened last month at the 5th Annual Latino College and STEM Fair, organized by Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC).
The students were excited to learn something new. At this fair, they frequently learned from Spanish-speaking Georgia Tech students, faculty, and community partners. Seeing these role models, these young Latinos realize that they, too, can succeed in college.
The fair offered K-12 Latino students and their families bilingual workshops, panel discussions, and hands-on demonstrations. The activities informed them about post-secondary education while sparking their interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
The fair was held on March 18 at the Georgia Tech Student Center, as part of the Atlanta Science Festival. It was hosted by CEISMC’s GoSTEM program and the University of Georgia’s LISELL-B initiative.
"As members of Georgia Tech, we are extremely proud to serve Latino students and families in Georgia, and present them with rich, interesting, and valuable experiences that might inform their educational and career decisions," said Diley Hernandez, the Program Director of the GoSTEM program
Georgia Tech exhibitors explained academic offerings and resources, such as the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Workshops on college admission, financial aid, and preparing for college and careers gave students and parents a road map to post-secondary education.
Attendees enjoyed STEM demonstrations and hands-on activities galore. Families observed detection of cosmic-ray particles in a “spark chamber,” built a toy airplane from balsa wood, and much more. "The Magic of Chemistry Show, presented by Georgia College professionals, entertained participants.
A panel discussion with Latino community and education leaders was moderated by Gianncarlo Cifuentes, a news director, producer, writer, and anchor at Univisión 34 Atlanta. Spectators filled the theater and overflow room to capacity to hear about issues affecting the education of Latinos. The discussion was conducted in Spanish and translated into English.
"This annual fair provides participants with a unique opportunity to learn more about college, college majors, and STEM careers,” said Jorge Breton, Director of the Office Hispanic Initiatives at Georgia Tech. “The interaction with representatives from many institutions of higher education and other exhibitors, the fun hands-on activities, the panel discussion, and the different educational workshops – these all help increase the knowledge, interest, and awareness of opportunities that are available to our community."
Written by: Steven L. Taylor – CEISMC Communications