NASA Partners with Univision to Inspire Students
Andrea Davila is only in middle school, but she's already considering her
"I've thought about being an engineer," said Davila, who is very well spoken
for her age. "That interests me a lot."
Getting more Hispanic students such as Davila interested in science,
technology, engineering and math is at the heart of a new partnership
between NASA and Univision Communications, Inc., the leading Spanish
language media company in the United States.
NASA is supporting Univision's initiative to improve high school graduation
rates, prepare Hispanic students for college and encourage them to pursue
careers in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.
The collaboration complements NASA's initiative to engage underrepresented
and underserved students in the critical STEM fields.
On May 24, Davila and eight other Latino middle school students from area
schools in Hampton Roads participated in a mock robotics activity at the
Virginia Air and Space Center where a video crew from Univision was on hand
to capture the students for a spot in an upcoming series of educational
programs aimed at getting Hispanic students interested in joining
STEM-related summer camps.
The students were so engaged in the "mock" robotic activity, that they
hardly paid any attention to the cameras rolling.
Virginia Air and Space Center museum educators Parrish Crosby and Richard
Byles kept them entertained with the building and programming of Lego
Parents stood on the perimeter conversing in Spanish, excited that their
children will be on television and proud that they are conveying an
"This is a great opportunity for them to be involved," said Juan Cruz, whose
son Juan and daughter Gloria were participating in the shoot. "Summer camps
are very important and it's good to get started in them at a young age. To
help them with their future."
The video segments that Univision is shooting are aimed at Hispanic children
and their parents, said Ivelisse Gilman, informal education manager at NASA
"We want to encourage children to participate in science summer camps and at
the same time engage their parents so they can help guide their children,"
Gilman said. "Univision is our gateway into the Hispanic community."
In addition to the public service announcements, Univision and NASA are
working on developing a series of educational video segments that feature
"cool" things thing NASA engineers and scientists do. Univision will also
feature information on its website about NASA and educational opportunities.
Though they were being filmed, the students knew why they were there.
"I definitely encourage kids to take science summer camps," said Davila, who
remembers launching a hand-made rocket from NASA Langley while attending a
summer camp two years ago. "When you're at home watching TV, you're not
doing anything. When you're at a camp, you're learning something."
NASA Langley Research Center