MNSU hosts Latino Engineering Academic Day for STEM students

High schoolers from six different schools attended to learn and network

Latino Engineering Academic Day was hosted at Minnesota State University, Mankato on Monday, Nov. 6. About 200 students from six different high schools from the Twin Cities and Mankato area were in attendance.

This was the third of the three events that were held this semester. The first of which targeted the African American students, the second targeted for females in STEM programs, which are science, technology, engineering and mathematic programs, and this one, the final one, was aimed towards Latino students.

Melissa Huppert, the STEM outreach director for the Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence at MNSU, said that the main aim for this event was to expose Latino students to different opportunities in STEM because it is an industry that is dominated mostly by white males, so there is a need to bring diversity for better innovations to this field.

The event took place in the CSU Ballroom and was a day long. It started with a welcome event from MNSU’s Institutional Diversity and the College of Science and Technology. Then, they had a rotation session of speakers who had information about college preparation, such as how to apply to college and how to apply and get financial aid or other college funding techniques. There was also a campus tour for the high school students and a STEM fair with interactive booths from the different student organizations and industries available in the STEM field.

The event ended with a speech from the keynote speaker, Karla Ortiz, who works with Cummin Inc. Ortiz is a graduate of MNSU and encouraged students to explore the STEM field as there are many opportunities for students who speak more than one language, as they are more likely to be employed due to their bi- or multilingual abilities. Her presentation ended with her telling the students that they shouldn’t allow anyone, even themselves, to stop them from achieving their goals.

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