San Antonio Middle School Girls Conquer Science, Technology, Engineering and Math as A&M-SA’s Hola STEM Participants

By University Communications

Wednesday, 07 24 2019

imageSAN ANTONIO – Local middle school girls have been immersing themselves in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) during the 2019 Hola STEM summer program at Texas A&M University- San Antonio (A&M-SA). This weeklong program will end July 25.

Harlandale Independent School District selected 15 girls to participate in A&M-SA’s Hola STEM Program. This summer program, funded by a $25,000 gift from HOLT CAT, is designed to engage and inspire interest in STEM majors by exposing youth to hands-on STEM-related activities such as a mini bowling game that uses robotics and coding. The students also learn STEM skills by participating in Lego mindstorms, solar-powered vehicles and STEM-integrated physical education activities.

A hands-on activity example used in the program is having students learn to harness the power of the sun to design, construct, and evaluate a solar-powered model car of their creation. They use an engineering design process and undergo review by their peers to select an optimal gear ratio and components for their respective cars. As a culminating activity, the students compete in a “Solar Sprint” race.

“These youth will have the opportunity to realize the importance of STEM concepts and develop their understanding of problem-solving and collaborative skills along with an increased achievement in math,” said Dr. Young Rae Kim, Hola STEM director and an assistant professor in A&M-SA’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction. “These skills will last a lifetime,” he added.image

Activities begin daily at 9 a.m. and run until 4 p.m. Students participate in activities 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. They have lunch on campus and are provided Hola STEM t-shirts and lanyards.

The Hola STEM program pilot, “Hola STEM: Culturally Relevant STEM Curricula for Hispanic American Youth,” began when Dr. Kim and his colleagues, James Jurica, Marianne Phillips, Jeong Yang, John Romo and Hoan Duong applied for A&M-SA’s, Strategic Planning Initiative Seed Fund and were awarded $18,000.

About Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Established as a standalone university in 2009 and celebrating its 10-year anniversary, Texas A&M University-San Antonio (A&M-SA) is a comprehensive four-year public university that reflects the culturally diverse, heritage-rich community it serves. Situated on nearly 700 acres in South San Antonio, A&M-SA is a Military EmbracingTM institution offering more than 40 undergraduate programs to 6,600 students. Visit tamusa.edu for more information.