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HESO promotes engineering to minorities

The Hispanic Engineering Science Organization is sponsoring its annual High School Day, an on-campus competition for minority students interested in science and engineering fields, Saturday.

Oscar Quino§ez, president of the Hispanic Engineering Science Organization, said organization members visited high schools in New Mexico that have Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) programs. Quino§ez said the organization visited many regions in New Mexico to promote the event and is expecting students from Highland, West Mesa, Del Norte, Albuquerque, Belen, Robertson and Magdelena High Schools to make a showing.

"We're expecting 200 students and hoping for 400," he said. "We had close to 400 last year."

High School Day will run from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be held all over campus, including Mitchell Hall and the Anthropology Building. Quino§ez said the main building will be the Engineering Annex, where volunteers can report to help.

He said volunteers should show up at 6 a.m.

MESA is a national program that assists students to become highly trained technological professionals and emphasizes participation by students from groups with low probability of attending four-year colleges, according to the MESA web site.

Quino§ez said that this past year, the organization has encouraged non-MESA schools to attend the event because they want all students to have an opportunity to attend the event.

"Hopefully we can expand the event to where it's not just an HESO thing," he said. "We want to get some people to express more interest, and not just engineering people. We want other science people involved, they don't even have to be Hispanic."

Quino§ez said one of the organization members, Ruben Martinez, went as far as Magdelena High School and spent the entire day talking to students about jobs in science and engineering and invited them to High School Day.

He said members spoke to students about the importance of being in a technical field, such as engineering, especially for women and minorities.

Quino§ez said the events will include an on-site design in which students are given a problem to solve in an allotted amount of time; technical pictionary, where students are given technical terms to draw, and prepared design competitions.

He said that for the prepared design event, students are given a certain problem, such as dropping an egg 20 feet without breaking it, and they need to create a vehicle that is a certain size to do it.

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Quino§ez said the organization raised money and will give prizes to competition winners.

He said Hispanic Engineering Science Organization members ASUNM Senator Javier Martinez, Benito Martinez, Natalia Beraun and Tiffany Azert also helped organize the event.

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