Colorado State Event Encourages Hispanic Students to Pursue Careers in Science, Math and Technology

More than 300 sixth- and ninth-grade Hispanic students will learn about career opportunities in math, science, and other related fields at Colorado State University’s seventh annual Math, Science and Technology Day.

El Centro Student Services is sponsoring the event with a series of presentations on March 26 and April 2 in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom. Because the program is so popular, the event is split into two days: one for sixth-graders March 26 and one for ninth-graders April 2.

"The focus of this program is to encourage students to consider careers in math, science and technology," said Guadalupe Salazar, El Centro’s director. "The feedback we get from the students is always positive. By involving sixth- and ninth- graders, we are reaching students who are just beginning to consider future careers."

Students will visit the Little Shop of Physics, take part in hands-on math and science activities and listen to a motivational speech delivered by Judi Diaz, an engineer and Colorado State alumna. As a college student, Diaz was involved in a number of efforts to assist Hispanic students and remains involved in similar activities. Diaz will speak about the importance of education and the many career opportunities in science and technology fields.

"The whole purpose of this event is for the students to have fun and increase the number of Hispanics in the fields of math and science," said Salazar. "This program fits well with our goal of illustrating the opportunities that exist in professional fields where Hispanics are under-represented."

Increasing the number of minority students in science- related fields is a high priority for Colorado State and other higher-education institutions statewide. Recently, the Colorado Alliance for Minority Participation and the National Science Foundation teamed up to provide a $5 million grant that will double the number of minority students earning bachelor’s degrees in mathematics, science, engineering and technology in Colorado within five years. The grant is being administered by Colorado State.

"The opportunities exist but we need to show students that their goals are attainable and that we support their efforts," Salazar said.

Math, Science and Technology Day programs also are sponsored by Colorado State’s innovative Center for Science, Math and Technology Education, the university’s office of admissions and alumni relations and the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers.

The schedule of events for both days run 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. A schedule of the day’s activities is available from El Centro at (970) 491-5722.