Core4STEM Expo

Analisa Garza
Guest Blogger

Last week the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce teamed up with representatives from Fortune 500 companies, governmental agencies, universities and colleges, and local high schools to host the third annual CORE4STEM EXPO at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The EXPO is part of the Chamber’s STEM initiative to encourage students by increasing awareness and interest in college and career goals with a long term effect of attracting higher paying jobs to San Antonio thus strengthening and increasing the cities prosperity (“Core 4 stem,” 2012).

Approximately 2,000 7th and 8th graders had the opportunity to broaden their understanding of STEM college and career goals by participating in hands-on activities, viewing demonstrations, and hearing from guest speakers including Jose Hernandez, the first Latino astronaut.

Thanks to the coordinating efforts of Helen Torres, SAC Director of Partnerships and Extended Services, and her staff, San Antonio College had the opportunity to participate in the EXPO by hosting hundreds of students with learner-centered hands-on sessions in STEM fields.

Students were introduced to the world of “Polyhedron and OCTA-TETRA Models” by Dan Suttin, SAC Math Lab tutor, where they learned the connections between these shapes and their applications to careers in architecture, engineering, design, art and mathematics.They were able to apply cyber security principles through simulated programs led by Troy Touchette, chair of Computer Information Systems, where they defended computers from hackers.

They also visited five activity tables led by SAC STEM students where they were introduced to multiple engineering careers including Bio Engineering using equipment provided by the SAC Biology Department and Geothermal Engineering using models provided by Adelante Tejas. Following these activities the students participated in Q&A sessions with Dr. Dan Dimitriu, Program Coordinator of SAC Engineering, and current SAC engineering students Kat Bently and Christopher Woods.

At the completion of each session the SAC College Connections team distributed buttons, backpacks, T-shirts, and information regarding the STEM programs available to their age group on our campus.

This event was a great success for our city and due to the collaborative efforts of all the STEM affiliated departments on our campus; it was a wonderful representation of the opportunities available to students through San Antonio College.

 

Analisa Garza is the MESA Center Coordinator.

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Transfer success: SAC to TAMUSA

By Zach Havins
Guest Blogger      

Being an “undecided student” can be nerve wracking. There are life altering decisions you must make based on the degree you want to pursue. Luckily, I found the bachelor’s degree I want to pursue with the help of advisers at San Antonio College (SAC) and Texas A & M University at San Antonio (TAMUSA). I chose to pursue a degree in a STEM field of study, Bachelor of Business Administration(BBA) in Computer Information Systems (CIS) with a concentration in Information Assurance and Security at TAMUSA.

Choosing a STEM field of study that easily transfers from SAC or surrounding Alamo colleges to TAMUSA, offered a variety of benefits. The obvious advantages of is the low-cost tuition and the multiple locations across San Antonio. SAC  was only a few short miles from my apartment, saving me money on gas and allowing me to focus more on my education rather than my expenses.

What I enjoyed most  were the interchangeable courses TAMUSA allows as substitutions. My degree requires a literature course, but I wasn’t interested in taking British Literature, Philosophy or any of the standard literature courses. TAMUSA advisers mentioned that I can take a foreign language class to substitute and that also includes American Sign Language (ASL). That  sounded like a fun and easy “blow off” class to me. Surprise –  I discovered this to be one of the hardest classes I ever enrolled in and one of the most enjoyable and enlightening. Instructor John Cage  gave me great awareness and knowledge about the deaf community and culture. I can now communicate using basic sign language with any of the estimated 116,000 hearing-impaired people in San Antonio.

Concurrent enrollment was the official name of my enrollment status during my first semester at TAMUSA, meaning I was enrolled in both lower-level courses at SAC and upper-level courses at TAMUSA. I found this both convenient and  spectacular. TAMUSA is a new, but fast growing university.   The student-to-teacher ratio is almost identical to SAC, allowing for you to receive extensive help from professors and improved class lectures. There is   room for students to get involved.  This summer,  I was elected Vice-President of the Cyber Security Athenaeum (CSA) club at TAMUSA.

I arrived at TAMUSA with little experience on working with computers or servers, running an operating system other than  Microsoft Windows. Less than two years later and spending countless hours in the lab, preparing and competing in the last four cyber competitions, I have gained a surplus  of knowledge in the Computer Security field and feel confident I will find a job with ease and be highly successful upon graduation.

Zach Havins is currently a student at Texas A & M University-San Antonio.

T-STEM Scholarships will award $170,000

There is a huge problem in this country with students NOT choosing majors within the sciences. Because of a grant which provides students with scholarship money, SAC is making it a little bit easier for students to award students for majoring in STEM.

Through the T-STEM grant, San Antonio College aims to award 68 students with a scholarship valued at $2,500 each for a whopping grand total of $170,000 just for SAC students! Currently, about 35 SAC students have applied for the scholarships. “We’ll go until we give them all out,” said Angela Stewart, T-STEM liaison. She continued to explain, “If the other four Alamo Colleges don’t award every one of their 68 scholarships, we stand ready to find an eligible SAC student that can use the money.”

Stewart also said, “The most important step in the application process is to provide an official high school transcript.” Remember, if you don’t apply, you don’t even have a shot. Eligible students are encouraged to apply at www.secure.alamo.edu/scholarship/application.aspx, but if a student already completed an Alamo Colleges Scholarship Application then he/she will be automatically considered.

Alamo Colleges and SAC faculty and staff go above and beyond to find opportunities for students to be successful. It is important to us that we give our students a push in the right direction. If this scholarship money can make all the difference for even one student, then it is worth all the time and effort. 

Any current or incoming student who has declared a major in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) instructional program or specific Allied Health program, and has a minimum GPA of 3.0 in high school math and science courses is eligible to apply.

The student must agree to complete 30 hours in the 2012-2013 academic year (Fall, Spring, Summer), and must complete 80 percent of coursework per semester. Additionally, males between the ages of 18 and 25 must be registered with the Selective Service System.

So, if you know anyone that should apply, tell them to get on the ball! And, if you are a student yourself, DOOOOOOO IT already! A list of eligible majors is below.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Eligible majors include:

Astronomy

Biology (including Biology/Pre-nursing, Pre-Med, Pre-Dental, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Veterinary)

Computer Programmer

Computer Support Specialist

Computer Database Specialist

Information Security and Assurance

CADD Civil Design

Chemistry

Cisco Certified Network Associate

Computer Desktop Support Technician

Computer Forensic

Computer programing intermediate

Computer support specialist

Drafting/design engineering technologies

Information Technology and Security academy (ITSA)

Dental Assisting/Assistant

Dental Laboratory Technology/Technician

Emergency Medical Technician

Engineering: All types…Chemical Engineering, Aerospace, Architectural, Civil, Computer, Mechanical, etc.

Engineering Technology

Geological and Earth Sciences

Mathematics

Medical Assisting

Physical Sciences

Physics

(*Note: Nursing is NOT an eligible major for T-STEM Scholarships).