Citgo kicks off STEM Fest with Corpus Christi ISD students – Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Corpus Christi ISD students participated in various science and engineering interactions at Citgo’s 2021 STEM Fest on Friday.
Students from Garcia Elementary, Cunningham Middle School at South Park and Moody High School attended the science, technology, engineering and math education event at the Corpus Christi Natatorium.
Over 100 students were split into six groups to cover five different stations including underwater battle bots, drones, coding, claw bots and gliders.
Moody High School Principal Enrique Vela said the event is about enriching students in the STEM program and letting them know about the many opportunities they have after graduating from high school. He said the program gives students early experiences to advance them to higher levels of learning.
“What’s most important is the pipeline; establishing that Garcia-Cunningham-Moody pipeline so students are learning at a young age and have an idea of what’s coming to them when they get to Moody,” Vela said. “It opens up doors for them to understand why math, science, engineering and technology is important. Hopefully they will want to go to college to become an engineer, computer programmer or drone operator.”
Valeria De La Garza, a fifth-grade teacher at Garcia Elementary, said the STEM Fest was the first big STEM event for her students. She said they were excited and she hopes they take in as much information as they can.
“When students start to learn about STEM at the elementary level it brings awareness to what they can grow into with the program,” De La Garza said. “When it’s brought up to them at such an early stage, they become more aware as they get older and notice careers in that field they would want to go into.”
Ray Garcia, inclusion teacher at Cunningham Middle School at South Park, echoed De La Garza’s words and said the STEM career field is going to get better in the future.
“This festival is a great opportunity for them to learn about it now and understand the technology that is available to them,” Garcia said. “I hope they have a lot of fun, first and foremost, but I also hope they learn about the many career fields they can go into and expand their knowledge.”
Moody High School Senior Natalie Martinez said she got into STEM while she was at Cunningham Middle School at South Park when she joined a Gateway to Technology class and learned about engineering and computer programming. She said she wants to have a career in environmental science or engineering to help the planet’s sustainability.
“STEM is important because technology is a big part of the world that the future generation should head towards,” Martinez said. “I hope the younger kids here learn how much fun STEM is. You don’t have to be super smart to enjoy it; it’s all about having fun.”
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John Oliva covers education and community news in South Texas. Consider supporting local journalism with a subscription to the Caller-Times.  

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