Workforce Solutions

STEM Fiesta 2.0 Surges on to UTEP Campus

May 11, 2015
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EL PASO, Texas – May 11, 2015 – Workforce Solutions Borderplex is ramping up for STEM Fiesta 2.0 which will be held on May 18th and 19th at the University of Texas at El Paso. This is the second year for the STEM Fiesta which is a unique, multidimensional event for regional high school and middle school students. The purpose of the STEM Fiesta is to increase awareness of educational and career opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). This year’s event includes four technology competitions: STEM Challenge 6, VEX Robotics, Gaming/IT and Coding. Workforce Solutions Borderplex is pleased to announce that 1,500 middle school and high school students have entered the competitions. The media is invited to cover both days of the event. See attachments for specific event schedule and details.

“The mission of the STEM Fiesta is to inspire our youth to pursue education and careers in STEM,” said Mike Acosta, STEM Initiatives Lead with Workforce Solutions Borderplex. “We are thrilled to know that so many students are already excited about STEM. This event is a terrific showcase of the talent and skills we have within STEM education in our region.”

STEM Fiesta 2.0 will consist of hands-on, interactive science and engineering activities, exhibits, four high school student competitions, STEM career workshops, and counseling for successful careers in the STEM fields. It also includes the awarding of scholarships to high school seniors to attend UTEP or EPCC to major in a STEM discipline.

Competition dates, times, and descriptions are listed below.

Monday, May 18th UTEP Union Building East 8:30am – 4:00pm
STEM Challenge 6 is a technology business plan competition for an innovative and creative technology entrepreneurial concept developed for potential commercialization. After the conclusion of STEM Challenge 6 competitions, a reception will be held in the Tomas Rivera Conference Room on the Third Floor of the UTEP Union Building East from 5:00-7:00pm. The reception will include a moderated panel discussion with UTEP President Dr. Diana Natalicio, Texas Tech President Dr. Richard Lang, and Workforce Solutions Borderplex CEO Joyce Wilson.

Tuesday, May 19th UTEP Don Haskins Center 9:00am – 4:00pm
VEX Robotics
is a first-hand competition that presents the opportunity to generate and implement innovative and creative designs and applications into their competition robots.

Gaming/IT provides student teams with the opportunity to design and develop innovative state of the art gaming (video games) utilizing advanced, creative information technology methods and tools.

Coding will provide participating students, practical hands-on coding experience, with real-life coding applications that will spur interest and appreciation of coding to inspire the students to pursue education/careers in programming and coding.

On Tuesday, STEM Exhibit Booths will be displayed at the Don Haskins Center. Participants will have access to hands-on interactive activities (experiments and demonstrations) of a broad variety of STEM subjects and areas. Fields and concentrations will include engineering (electrical, mechanical, civil, industrial, metallurgical, and aeronautical), science (chemistry, biology, physics, zoology, and materials), energy (traditional, renewable), health/medical, environment, and other related areas of study.

Onsite workshops will provide students with valuable information on STEM education/careers and advising/counseling on preparing and planning for the future. Tips and guidance will be provided on career planning, professional skills, resume writing, interview preparedness, and communications and presentation skills.

Another highlight of this year’s event is the inclusion of Steve Wolf who will be live on the main stage to present “Science in the Movies” at the Don Haskins Center at 11:00am and again at 2:45pm on Tuesday, May 19th. Mr. Wolf is President of Special FX International in Austin Texas. He was the winner of Time Warner Cable’s "Best Science Presenter or the Year Award” and will be keynoting the World Science Festival in New York City later this month.

Several sponsors have committed to the success of STEM Fiesta 2.0. They are ARL, Army Research Lab, AT&T, Borderplex Alliance, Cisco, City of El Paso, Clint High School, CommUNITY en ACCION, Dish Network, El Paso Community College, El Paso Electric, El Paso Exploreum, El Paso STEM Foundation, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Hispanics in Energy, HP, HUB of Human Innovation, Hunt Family Foundation, KVIA, Maes, MCA Foundation, METI, REC Foundation, Serco, Sierra Providence Health Network, Sigma Solutions, Texas Tech University, Texas Workforce Commission, TSA, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, UTEP, Walgreens, Western Refining, and Workforce Solutions Borderplex.

For more information on STEM Fiesta 2.0, please contact Mike Acosta at or (915) 240-4423.