The University of Wisconsin (UW) Hybrid Vehicle Team collaborated with the Milwaukee Chapter of The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) for two events in the last month to promote diversity in the engineering field.
SHPE was founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1974 by a group of engineers employed by the city of Los Angeles. Their objective was to form a national organization of professional engineers to serve as role models in the Hispanic community.The concept of networking was the key basis for the organization. SHPE quickly established two student chapters to begin the network that would grow to encompass the nation as well as reach countries outside the United States. Today, SHPE enjoys a strong but independent network of professional and student chapters throughout the nation.
The first event that the team participated in was a Saturday Enrichment series for Hispanic middle school students to introduce them to different areas of engineering. The day began in the classroom to introduce hybrid technology and the different types of engineering. Many of the students knew a lot about the environment and the importance of hybrid vehicles and were already well on their way to becoming an engineer!
The UW team then took the group on a shop tour. The students got a first hand look at the EcoCAR and were very impressed by the size of the new battery that had just arrived!
The following week, a group of 30 Hispanic high school students from Milwaukee made the trip to the UW campus for a fun-filled day of engineering. The students were very enthusiastic and asked a lot of questions about the university and hybrid technology. The majority of the students were high school juniors, so their engineering futures are directly ahead of them.
The UW Hybrid Team in collaboration with SHPE is happy to be providing engineering opportunities to Hispanic students of all ages, exposing them to role models and aspirations and creating future engineers in the process!