Tag Archives: STEM

The Talent Bowl of the World

Inaugural class of the CSIT-In-3 program, scheduled to graduate in 2016

Krista Almanzan’s great piece on Cal State University, Monterey Bay, and Hartnell Community College’s three-year, intensive bachelor’s degree program in computer science and information technology targeting the largely Hispanic Salinas Valley. Despite a successful first year, the program’s director, Joe Welch, faces the typical funding challenges as well as the larger issue of getting Silicon Valley companies to give these students an opportunity to apply their skills:

Connecting with prospective employers is where program organizers are already facing their own challenge. Welch says in trying to secure summer internships, they’re finding many of the brand-name, Silicon Valley tech companies are used to dealing with brand-name schools.

“Frankly, they’re so comfortable, they’re not reaching outside that student stream,” he says.

Many of the CSIT-In-3 students are from historically disadvantaged backgrounds and first-generation college students. Welch says he doesn’t want them to get a handout. He just wants Silicon Valley to give them a fair shake, especially since companies have said they want to give these students an opportunity.

Dream It, Build It

Spare Parts opens this week. The movie is based on the true story of four undocumented Latino engineering students from Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix who compete in an underwater robotics contest sponsored by NASA and the U.S. Navy. They compete against 10 other colleges, including engineering powers MIT, Virginia Tech, and Duke.

Spoiler alert, the movie does have a happy ending.

However, despite their inspirational story, the students in film continue to face barriers that Hollywood can’t fix. One student working towards an electrical engineering degree needs our help.