A group of students from Boyle Heights STEM Magnet High School recently showcased their skills and innovation by building their own hydrogen-powered remote control racing car. The team, known as Los Stemateros, successfully made it through the preliminary rounds in California and qualified to compete in Las Vegas against teams from over 20 countries.
The Vegas competition marked Los Stemateros’ first season, which made it a nerve-racking experience for the team. Israel Hernandez, the team’s coach, mentioned that the event served as an opportunity for the students to challenge themselves and grow in their field of interest.
Los Stemateros placed 13th in the competition, an impressive achievement for their first year. Juan Aguilar-Lepe, an 11th-grade team member, expressed his satisfaction with their performance and their determination to improve in the future. The team plans to aim for the top spot in subsequent competitions.
The construction of their car involved the use of lightweight carbon fiber, ensuring that their vehicle was both durable and efficient. The car was powered by a fuel cell that derived energy from hydrogen, emphasizing the team’s commitment to environmentally friendly technology.
For Hernandez, the importance of these programs lies in exposing students to the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). By providing such opportunities, students can explore their interests and make informed decisions about their future careers.
As an educator, Hernandez feels a personal connection to the neighborhood where he grew up and the students he teaches. Encouraging and supporting students like Juan, who represent his community, is what motivates him every day.
Apart from their participation in the Vegas competition, students from Boyle Heights STEM Magnet High School also organize robotics competitions for younger students. This early exposure ensures that they develop a keen interest in STEM subjects, giving them a head start when they eventually pursue higher education.
Overall, Los Stemateros and their accomplishments highlight the importance of fostering innovation, passion, and exposure to STEM fields among students. Programs like these empower students to believe in their abilities and succeed in their chosen fields of study.
STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
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