09:44 AM

UHD Scholars Academy Students Encourage High Schoolers to Pursue STEM Careers

Only 16 percent of American high school students are proficient in mathematics and interested in a career in one of the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. In fact, the U.S. ranks 25th in mathematics and 17th in science among industrialized nations, according to the Department of Education.

Students in the University of Houston-Downtown's Scholars Academy are working to change those statistics in Houston. They joined forces Friday, Nov. 7 with Great Minds in STEM, Shell Oil Company and other area universities to host the city's inaugural Viva Technology STEM Showdown at the University of Houston Wellness Center.

Throughout the day, University student-mentors, known as College Captains, guided their ninth- and tenth-grade teammates through STEM-related activities for the chance to win educational prizes at the end of the day. The UHD College Captains served as ambassadors for the University to encourage local high school students to strongly consider STEM as a viable career option and to consider UHD as an option for higher education.

UHD scholars shared their college experience - including projects they've worked on, internships, national conferences, and student organizations - to give high school students insight into the world of STEM study.

Viva Technology™ is a national K-12 education program designed to engage students, teachers and parents with STEM challenges that stimulate their interest in the application of technology and provide STEM-focused career pathways. The UHD Scholars Academy (SA) is an academically competitive program in the College of Science and Technology (CST) that promotes scholarship and student success for UHD undergraduate students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).