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K-State Today

May 10, 2016



Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers hosts activity day

By LaVerne Bitsie-Baldwin

The Kansas State University chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers hosted the third annual Noche de Ciencias hands-on activity day April 9 at Turner High School in Kansas City, Kansas, to encourage middle and high school students to study toward careers in engineering and science.

Nineteen K-State engineering students partnered with eight professionals from the Burns & McDonnell chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Inc. for the day's events. The engineering students ran hands-on sessions with the participants, and the professionals led parent sessions in both Spanish and English to provide information on what engineering careers are available, and how to encourage students to persevere toward engineering and science degrees.

K-State electrical engineering alumnus and vice president for Burns & McDonnell's transmission and distribution sector, Gabe Hernandez, participated and provided sponsorship for the event.

Marco Loma-Jasso, junior in mechanical engineering, chaired the Noche de Ciencias committee and commended his team for its work on the event, which attracted more than 50 parent and student participants.

"We prepared a full year for this event," Loma-Jasso said, "involving the national office, the K-State and engineering recruitment offices, the college's Multicultural Engineering Program, as well as engineering students, alumni and faculty in the process."

Hands-on activities, created an implemented by the engineering students, included building a battery-powered car, and using play dough with a Makey Makey electronic board to emulate a video game controller, using the programming language "Scratch" to change the video game display. Participants won prizes for the best machines and door prizes.