Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month
The Hispanic Heritage observance began in the United States in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and was later expanded in 1988 to cover a 30-day period. National Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off every year from September 15 to October 15. It’s a time Hispanics, Latinos, Latinas and Latinx come together to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
This year’s theme: “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.” The theme encourages us to ensure that all voices are represented and welcomed to help build stronger communities and a stronger nation. Programs like NSF’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST), emphasize the importance of providing opportunities to motivate and inspire Hispanic/Latinx youth to pursue STEM education.
Below are a few ITEST projects helping Hispanic/Latinx youth identify their STEM passions and explore careers in STEM:
Engaging Latinx Youth in Understanding the Science of Climate Change by Developing Digital Narratives and Games
The project will engage LatinX middle and high school youth in developing technology-rich, interactive digital media, games, and narratives about climate science. In creating digital stories, youth will blend real-world scenarios with their ideas and decision-making processes to solve climate-related problems. This immersive experience will help the underserved population of LatinX youth build robust knowledge of climate science and support their identities to serve as community science experts.
STEMware - Designing Immersive Biology Learning Simulations for Formal and Informal Settings
The STEMware™ project brings together collaborators in science and education research, teaching, and industry and incorporates an innovative professional and youth development program to create, implement, and evaluate STEM-based “serious games”.
A Reciprocal Model for Teaching and Learning Computational Competencies: Connecting Pre-Service Teachers and Urban Latino Youth
This project includes an after-school program that will engage urban Latino middle school and high school students in activities aimed at developing computational competencies and promoting interests in pursuing computer science related studies and careers. The project will also engage pre-service teachers in a new professional development model that will include a specialized computer science teaching methods course, and will have them teach computational competencies in the after-school program.
Motivating Bilingual Hispanic Youth Towards STEM & STEM Cognate Study and Careers (MIO STEM)
The Arizona State University Center for Games and Impact will collaborate with VME (Vme Media), E-Line Media, and HACU (Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities) to develop a project designed to engage Hispanic middle-school students in learning about STEM careers. The project will initially stimulate career interest as youth reflect on game play using the Career Illumination Tool.
Strengthening the STEM Pipeline for Elementary School African Americans, Hispanics, and Girls by Scaling Up Summer Engineering Experiences
This project aims to expand the implementation of a NSBE-supported program, "Summer Engineering Experiences for Kids" (SEEK), from 14 sites in 2016, to 31 by 2019; from 3,825 3rd-5th grade African American, Hispanic, and female students in 2015, to cumulative 27,000 across the nation over the three-year duration of the project.
Caminos a la Ciencia/Pathways to Science: A Program Designed to Recruit, Retain, and Develop Latinas in STEM Disciplines
This is a multi-year project aimed at advancing efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that motivate Latinas to pursue educational pathways to science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) occupations. The project will work toward identifying and addressing the factors which influence Latinas' levels of engagement in pursuing STEM education throughout their high school years.