Julie Heffler" />
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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Academics & Research

UH College of Technology STEMs out to high school students

Cesar Chavez High School students and winners of the Big Ideas Science Video Contest will be touring the College of Technology from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday.

Students in grades nine through 12 worked in groups to create short films about science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, according to Big Ideas’ website.

“It is designed to encourage the exploration of science, technology, engineering, and math. This is an exciting experience for young students to re-imagine future careers in STEM by meeting professional engineers, researchers, professors, and students beginning their careers,” said Chido Osueke, the student who started the project as a part of his independent study.

“The winning high school students will also tour CenterPoint Energy’s Energy Insight Center. They will voyage outside their normal classrooms and learn about Houston’s new Intelligent Grid System.”

Mequanint Moges, an instructional associate professor of computer engineering technology at the College of Technology, worked with Osueke as his mentor. The need for minorities in STEM fields is a problem the U.S. is facing at the moment, Moges said.

“According to the report by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee the demand for STEM-skilled workers is expected to continue to increase in the future, as both the number and proportion of STEM jobs are projected to grow,” Moges said in an email.

“Of particular concern are the persistent STEM participation and achievement gaps across different demographic groups. Statistics from the National Science Foundation show that under‐represented minorities, excluding Asian Americans, accounted for 16.7 percent of newly awarded science and engineering degree holders. Despite accounting for 28 percent of the US population, minority students lag in the areas of STEM.”

Moges said he thinks the students were positively affected by the contest.

“Students must be active participants in the learning process and become fully involved in science. Primary and secondary schools have the unique ability to spark interests in STEM. They are great incubators for development and light the path to fruitful careers,” he said.

“In this regard I think the students have grown to appreciate the impact that science and math have in their daily life.”

The most important thing these students can now do is retain the information they gained through their experience with the contest, Moges said.

“Students must be active participants in the learning process and become fully involved in science,” Moges said.

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