With March officially being Women’s History Month, TSC is doing its part by hosting events that celebrate the accomplishments of women across the globe. In particular, the Women in STEM event officially kicked off earlier this month. Women in STEM continues with an Online Panel Discussion on March 19 and a Face-to-Face Panel Discussion in the SET-B Lecture Hall on March 20. 

The courtyard between North and South Hall hosted a gathering of various representatives from STEM-based programs at TSC, such as the electrician program, architecture, HVAC, automotive technology, and more. Several Valley elementary and middle school students were also present as part of the Texas ACE (Afterschool Centers on Education) program. Students flocked to the different tables to excitedly take part in a variety of demonstrations that each table had for them to participate in. 

AJ Escobar was one of a handful of TSC students from the Automotive Technology program who put together and helped guide the young ACE students through a simple exercise related to their field of study. “We decided to create an interactive demonstration that teaches people how to change a tire. We thought it would be a good exercise because it’s something that everyone who owns a vehicle should know how to do, and it’s easy enough to teach them how in a few minutes,” said Escobar. 

In addition to programs within TSC, a few outside organizations were welcomed to join, including representatives from Gladys Porter Zoo and the South Texas Astronomical Society (STARS). Victor De los Santos, Executive Director for STARS non-profit organization, has always held a passion for helping young students develop an interest in STEM fields and get the resources they need to hopefully grow their interest into a lifelong endeavor. 

“One of our founding principles is that we want to actively go out into the community and tell more people about who we are and the opportunities that we can provide, and events like these are one of the best ways that we can continue to introduce ourselves to new audiences,” said De los Santos. 

To instructors like Martha Casquete, Texas Southmost College Math instructor, it is important to continue making female students aware that careers in STEM fields are very much possibilities that they can pursue. 

“Historically, there has been a significant gender gap in STEM fields,” said Casquete. “According to a report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2023, women comprised only 28% of the STEM workforce.” 

These are statistics that she hopes to see change as greater awareness continues to spread. “By promoting STEM careers to young females and showcasing our female instructor and students, TSC aims to empower them bridge this gap here in the Valley. Empowering young females with STEM education and opportunities enables them to achieve economic independence and contribute meaningfully to society. Furthermore, highlighting what TSC offers is important not only for young females but also males, as Hispanics are also lagging behind on STEM degrees.” 

With both mission and goals clear, Casquete envisions bigger and better outreach events as time goes on. “Our vision is to continue growing every year,” she stated.  “One of our goals is to invite more organizations to participate in our festival, thus expanding it next year. We recognize that the lack of role models is one of the factors contributing to the gender gap. Therefore, we could organize a Girl’s Day where a group of young women can meet our female students and engage in STEM activities.”  

Women in STEM continues with an Online Panel Discussion on March 19 and a Face-to-Face Panel Discussion in the SET-B Lecture Hall on March 20. 

TSC Women in STEM 2024
TSC Women in STEM 2024