Photo Opportunity: UTEP's NASA Program Hosts Children's Event with Danny Olivas Book Signing
April 04, 2013 | UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS
What: NASA's Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA) at UTEP will host a family event for children to learn about space exploration. UTEP alumnus Danny Olivas, a former NASA astronaut, will be a special guest, signing copies of his new book, Endeavour's Long Journey.
When: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6
Where: Gene Roddenberry Planetarium, 6531 Boeing Drive
SEMAA Southwest, housed at UTEP, has invited more than 2,500 children from the region to participate in hands-on activities, demonstrations and games related to space exploration.
"The event is centered on opportunities provided through science and engineering, and how those from El Paso can, and have, excelled in aerospace – as exemplified most by Dr. (Danny) Olivas," said Nathaniel Robinson, director of SEMAA Southwest and associate director of UTEP's Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR).
Olivas, who earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from UTEP in 1989, will be pre-releasing and signing his new book Endeavour's Long Journey, which chronicles the history, path and exploration of the Space Shuttle Endeavour.
The event is co-hosted by the El Paso Insights Science Center, the El Paso Independent School District, the New Mexico Space Museum, and the Roddenberry Planetarium.
SEMAA is an innovative national program designed specifically to reach K-12 students who are traditionally underrepresented in careers involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Students meet during school, after school or on Saturday mornings to engage in hands-on, interactive learning sessions that are specifically designed for each grade level.
The goal is to inspire, engage and challenge a more diverse student population to pursue careers in the fields of science and engineering.
SEMAA Southwest currently serves 4,000 students in the region, with 76 percent of participants being historically underrepresented in the STEM workforce. Forty-nine percent of participants are economically disadvantaged.