Last week, more than 300 students, faculty and industry leaders attended the 16th annual Houston PREP Engineering Day at UHD. The event brought together key corporate sponsors, leading engineers from across the city and 260 middle and high school students for a full day of presentations, exhibitions of student projects and lab experiments in a variety of STEM fields.
President Bill Flores provided a welcome to attendees and recognized significant program sponsors including Alief, Galena Park and Spring Branch Independent School Districts. He also expressed a special thanks to Schlumberger for its $45,000 gift, The Powell Foundation for its $15,000 gift and KBR for its $10,000 gift to Houston PREP at UHD.
Akif Uzman, interim dean of the College of Sciences and Technology, also welcomed attendees and encouraged the students to continue to pursue science and engineering studies as college students. Interim Provost Ed Hugetz greeted participating sponsors at a special luncheon for presenters and guests and, along with UHD faculty members, answered students’ questions about STEM-related majors and fields.
Currently in its 24th year at the University, Houston PREP – which stands for Pre-Freshman Enrichment Program – is designed to encourage young students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue majors in math, science and engineering, and to enter these fields following graduation. Hosted by the College of Sciences and Technology, Houston PREP helps to produce a pipeline of highly qualified incoming freshmen who will become future leaders in a variety of STEM disciplines.
“Houston PREP provides a unique enrichment opportunity for young students that they would not experience inside a science classroom,” said Sangeeta Gad, director of Houston PREP at UHD. “The interactive program introduces these students to exciting STEM fields and ignites their curiosity and passion for science and technology. Each of these benefits are made possible by our generous Houston PREP sponsors who form the backbone of our successful program.”
Since its inception in 1989, Houston PREP at UHD has educated approximately 4,000 middle and high school students from the Greater Houston area.