BROWNSVILLE, Texas —
Continuing to spark students' interests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, Sailors of Navy Recruiting District San Antonio supported the HESTEC 2020 SeaPerch Challenge held at the Margaret M. Clark Aquatic Center in Brownsville, Texas.
The annual underwater robotics competition, hosted by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, in partnership with NRD San Antonio, kicked-off a new format to Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology, or HESTEC, this year.
Twenty-seven high school teams from throughout the Rio Grande Valley participated in the competition which also served a SeaPerch regional qualifier.
According to Dr. Mahmoud Quweider, PhD., associate dean for Outreach and Online Programs, College of Engineering and Computer Science, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, or UTRGV, will continue to support and promote science, engineering and technology.
“This is very important to the university in order to create the next generation of scientists and engineers who are in big demand but in short supply,” Quweider said. “Robotics is becoming more and more important every day for there are numerous applications.”
The winner of the competition was Team Millennium Falcon of Los Fresnos High School, with Roma High School placing second and Harlingen Early College High School placing third.
According to Coach Javier Martinez of Team Millennium Falcon, the team’s win was a testament of their hard work and dedication.
“They practiced, practiced and practiced to get ready for the competition,” said Martinez, whose team placed first in the 2019 HESTEC SeaPerch Challenge. “They were prepared for everything and anything.”
SeaPerch Challenge coordinator Milton Hernandez, program manager, Department of Marketing and Communications for UTRGV said the competition continues to foster relationships between schools and motivates students to remain in STEM.
“This year’s competition consisted of high school teams vice a mixture of high school and middle schools,” said Hernandez. “We wanted to focus more on high school students as they have demonstrated more of a passion for the program and are getting ready to pursue a higher education.”
The new structure for HESTEC, a nationally recognized model for promoting STEM careers in science, technology, engineering and math to students of all ages in the Rio Grande Valley, will feature several events throughout the year at both UTRGV campuses in Brownsville and Edinburg.
NRD San Antonio’s area of responsibility includes more than 34 Navy Recruiting Stations and Navy Officer Recruiting Stations spread throughout 144,000 square miles of Central and South Texas territory.