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High School Students Graduate from Math/Science Program

Friday, July 25, 2014
By Eladio Jaimez

TexPrepAs Steve Moes from United Launch Alliance spoke to the 155 students at the TexPREP (Texas PreFreshman Engineering Program) Awards and Commencement Ceremony last week, he reminded them that math and science was all around them.

From his job with the aerospace giant to being a baseball umpire, Moes said he's used math and science in every aspect of his life.

"It's all around us," Moes said. "The texting you guys do and the television that you watch, it's all dependent on satellites that we sent up to space. And that's all science."

Seventeen fourth-year students graduated from the program, including Lyford's Allegra Cantu and Raymondville's Efran Zambrano, with aspirations of one day pursuing a career in engineering, science or math.

Both students addressed their peers, speaking highly of the program, the instructors and the time spent at TSTC during the past four summers.

"Even though we're a small group, we developed a bond that will last forever," Cantu said. "I hope the students that are younger and coming up through the program, will experience the same thing we did."

TexPREP, which got under way on June 9, is open to students in grades sixth through 10th from school districts across the Valley. TexPREP is a four-year program and students are invited back every year depending on their academic standing at their schools.

Students take math and science classes with an emphasis on engineering. All students are bused from their school districts and attend classes from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. over a seven-week period Monday through Thursday. For every year completed, the student gets one high school elective credit.

Students are chosen by their school counselors and principals in part because of their grades. Prospective students must also write an essay addressing which STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) field they'd like to pursue. The essays are reviewed by the staff at TSTC's Center for Science and Math Education.

Zambrano thanked the parents, instructors and program assistants such as Bryant Cardenas, who seemed to be popular among the fourth-year students.

"Bryant, we salute you and we'll never forget our time here thanks to you," Zambrano said.

Cardenas is a 2012 graduate from Early College High School and currently a student at TSTC. The 20-year old worked as a program assistant this summer and led the elder group of TexPREP students as they completed their time in the summer program.

"This is what I want to do, I want to be a teacher one day so this is exactly where I want to be," Cardenas said. "I loved working with these students all summer."











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