UTPA launches 2004 HESTEC Sept. 26-Oct. 2
Contact: Melissa Ciomperlik, Writer 381-2741
Posted: 09/01/2004
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In order to spark an interest in math and science among Hispanic youth, The University of Texas-Pan American, in conjunction with Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15), GEAR UP Partners and the Region One Education Service Center are firing up for the Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology Week (HESTEC), Sept. 26-Oct. 2.

In the last two years this event has reached out to more than a quarter of a million Hispanic middle school students. Now in its third year, HESTEC will once again bring together students and industry, government and educational leaders on the UTPA campus.

Maricella Lizcano (left), mechanical engineering graduate student, speaks to UTPA President Dr. Blandina Cárdenas (center) and Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (right) about the robotics competitions that will be held at the UTPA Fieldhouse on Sept. 28 as one of many events during HESTEC.
"HESTEC has captured the imagination of the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas and has galvanized the community around the globe of preparing the next generation of mathematicians, scientists, engineers and technology experts," Hinojosa said.

Students, teachers, administrators and parents will have the opportunity throughout the week to learn about math and science by attending workshops, listening to motivational speakers and participating in interactive demonstrations, such as robotics competitions, at various locations throughout the University.

UTPA President Dr. Blandina Cárdenas said the 21st century would be shaped by the Hispanic population group and by the fields of math, science and technology.

"We will shape it for good if we prepare our children to grab at those wonderful opportunities in science, technology, engineering and the humanities," Cárdenas said.

HESTEC's week-long events include Educator Day, Sept. 27, which will host more than 1,000 K-12 teachers and administrators who will attend interactive workshops and seminars that will focus on enrichment activities in mathematics, science and technology. Latinas in Science, Math, Engineering and Technology Day, Sept. 29, will cater to more than 1,000 female high school students and their mothers. They are expected to attend a full-day conference where they will hear from prominent executives and motivational speakers.

Community Day, Oct. 2, from 4-9 p.m. at the UTPA Fieldhouse, is expected to bring out more than 30,000 Rio Grande Valley residents who will have the opportunity to learn how science, mathematics and technology impact their lives by talking to top technology exhibitors and listening to some big-name presenters.

Among the major corporations supporting and participating in HESTEC are the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), State Farm Companies Foundation, Ford Motor Company, The Boeing Company, Bank of America, Pfizer, Lockheed Martin, Texas Instruments, The Princeton Review, Coca Cola Company, Time Warner Cable and many more.

Roland S. Arriola, UTPA vice president for External Affairs and HESTEC co-founder, addresses audience members during a press conference launching the 2004 HESTEC. Also pictured is Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (center), UTPA President Dr. Blandina Cárdenas (right) and GEAR UP students from across the Rio Grande Valley .
"HESTEC has really evolved and grown," Vice President for External Affairs Roland S. Arriola said. "One of the strongest components has been the tremendous corporate response that we have received."

The keynote speakers for HESTEC include such distinguished leaders as Robert Stevens, CEO of Lockheed Martin and Brian Ferguson, CEO of Eastman Chemical, among others. Lance Bass, former *NSYNC member and space enthusiast; Mario Lopez, Animal Planet's "Pet Star" host; Orlando Figueroa, NASA's Mars Exploration director; Camilo Pardo, Ford's chief designer at the Living Legends Studio; and Maria Conchita Alonso, actress and Grammy-nominated singer will also be on the list of speakers for HESTEC 2004.

HESTEC has evolved into a year-round leadership program that encourages Hispanic students to help build a path to participation in a more technologically advanced future, by boosting college enrollment numbers, increasing graduation rates, and opening the doors for scientists, engineers and mathematicians of tomorrow.

"UTPA is the premiere Hispanic Serving Institution in the nation because of the University's long-standing and deeply rooted commitment to expanding access to education for our community," Hinojosa said. "HESTEC is just one example of that commitment to our young people, our future."

For more information or to participate in HESTEC, call 956/381-3361 or visit