Demand for a skilled workforce in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is linked to global competitiveness and economic opportunity. Thus, we have a growing focus on STEM at the MCA. Here is an update on recent and upcoming MCA STEM activities.
On March 5, 2019, the MCA hosted a mini-STEM Camp for the fourth-grade class of St. Mark’s Elementary School. The camp sought to introduce the children to the different fields in life sciences as subjects of interest and possible career paths while showing them how the MCA Foundation helps to foster the biomedical industry in El Paso and Juarez.
The students, parents, and teachers were first welcomed into the Cardwell Collaborative biomedical incubator building, where they learned what the MCA does in the Paso del Norte region. MCA staff then took them on a tour of the building and introduced them to some of the start-up companies who showcased their biomedical research. The students then got to participate in a handful of STEM activities. They made elephant toothpaste and slime, and they had to put their knowledge to the test in a quiz activity where they won MCA promotional items if they answered questions correctly.
“Our focus is to inform students of opportunities in the technology and life sciences sectors in our region and the many amazing jobs that STEM has to offer,” explains Vianey Romo, MCA’s Workforce and STEM Camp Coordinator. “We want to be able to ignite a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math in students and hope they will pursue a career in a STEM field, preferably here in the Paso del Norte region.”
On Sunday, March 7, the MCA attended the Con Mi Madre STEAM Fair to promote science, technology, engineering, ART and math career paths and fields to girls of ages 10 and up and their mothers. The MCA will also attend the Hawkins Elementary Career Day next month to start exposing children to the different STEM career opportunities in the region.
“I want all of the kids in our region to have the same opportunities of those growing up in ‘big cities,’” envisioned Emma Schwartz, President of the MCA. “But they have to get a strong start in elementary and middle school to be competitive in STEM fields. That’s why the MCA’s STEM camp is designed to inspire our kids, showing them how exciting STEM can be, while also showing them that these careers are available here in our region.”