Jenna C. Maddix
Johnson Space Center, Houston
NASA to Participate in Hispanic Engineering Science Conference
HOUSTON — NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston will again participate in the Hispanic Engineering Science and Technology (HESTEC) conference, organized by the University of Texas-Pan American in conjunction with the Office of Congressman Ruben Hinojosa.
JSC has supported the weeklong event since 2001. The Office of Education at JSC has coordinated NASA’s presence for the last two years. This year, JSC will be involved in the following activities:
• HESTEC Educator Day, Sept. 28
NASA will provide professional development workshops for hundreds of teachers and administrators to learn new teaching techniques in math and science.
• HESTEC Congressional Roundtable, Sept. 29
Hosted by Congressman Hinojosa, the roundtable brings together members of Congress, government officials and corporate executives in a discussion to engage Hispanic students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. “Green Jobs, STEM Careers and the Future of the Hispanic Community” is the theme. Natalie Saiz, director of Human Resources at JSC, will be among the featured panelists.
• HESTEC Latina Day, Sept. 30
NASA representatives will speak to hundreds of female high school students and their mothers to hear inspiring success stories and encourage the students to pursue STEM-related careers.
• HESTEC Career Expo, Oct. 2
NASA will have a chance to meet and speak with university students throughout Texas about the internships and jobs NASA has to offer. Although the focus is on science, engineering and technology, this fair is open to all fields.
• HESTEC Community Day, Oct. 3
NASA is able to reach more than 100,000 visitors over a six-hour period to highlight the science, engineering, research and technology of NASA. JSC and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will provide volunteers to construct and staff 16,000 square feet of exhibit space. Among the displays visitors to the NASA exhibit can expect to see are: spacesuit photo-op, eight-wheel rover, 1/3-scale Apollo Command Module, 1/3-scale Lunar Lander and hands-on student activities.
Though HESTEC is a year-round program, the conference is an event to promote science literacy for educators, students and parents of South Texas. The HESTEC Community Day is the largest single-day event and, in the past, has provided NASA with an opportunity to promote diversity programs to the fastest growing ethnic group in the country.
HESTEC continues to promote STEM careers among South Texas students who are predominantly Hispanic. This annual conference reinforces the need for NASA presence to continue building strategic partnerships between organizations that promote STEM literacy and awareness of NASA.
For more information about NASA and its programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov
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