Skip to Main ContentCOE HomeSDSU Home

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Hundreds of High School Students Participate in (STEM)2 Exploration Day

STEM Squared Exploration Day participants
About 200 high school students participated in (STEM)² Exploration Day, an on-campus, day-long event focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The students  came from 12 partner high schools in the Sweetwater Union High School, Grossmont Union High School and San Diego Unified School Districts.

Sponsored by the San Diego State University Pre-College Institute, the invitation-only event exposed students from underrepresented backgrounds and communities to careers in the STEM fields and how to pursue them. The goal of the Pre-College Institute is to empower future college students by giving them a glimpse of STEM and encouraging them to pursue careers in these promising fields. The annual event included hands-on workshops, tours of SDSU laboratories and a student panel discussion.

“The event gave students a unique opportunity to explore STEM fields in a hands-on setting.  Students were able to experience real-world application in a way that many not have presented itself in their school,” said Erika Espinosa Araiza, Administrative Support Coordinator for the Pre-College Institute and Pathways Office. “Visiting labs at SDSU and talking to faculty and current students bridges the divide between partner schools and the university.”

The event was also a learning opportunity for their tutors, primarily San Diego State University undergraduate students in the Pathways Office, which is supported by the College of Education, the Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE) and the College of Sciences.

As peer mentors, the tutors were able to provide first-hand expertise to the high school students looking to enter a university for the first time. They also served as guides throughout the day.

“This event is a valuable opportunity for our undergraduate students to showcase their accomplishments and mentor the next generation of students that are interested in careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” said Nadia Rohlinger, Service Learning Coordinator for the Pre-College Institute (PCI). Dr. Cynthia Park, PCI Executive Director and professor in the School of Teacher Education, has been essential in setting up partnerships between federally-funded TRIO programs, public schools and academic departments/research units at SDSU as well as integrated Talent Search, Upward Bound Classic and Upward Bound STAR/Classic to serve underrepresented students and their teachers in low-income neighborhoods.

(STEM)² Exploration Day received some local media coverage on KPBS.