• College 1st Program

Harlingen CISD Prepares Students to Become Future STEM Professionals

Updated: Feb 12, 2019


Harlingen CISD students complete a drone mission during the Robotics and Technology CAMP. Photo By Ramon Perez

Young drone pilots gave an impressive air show that dazzled onlookers. Drones outfitted with the most up-to-date unmanned aerial systems technology whizzed across the room, weaving through large orange hoops while passing a group of would-be engineers carefully maneuvering robotic arms and another assemblage glued to virtual reality glasses that simulated rocket launch. At the College 1st Program’s Robotics and Technology CAMP, a joint initiative with Harlingen CISD, students learned to operate technology that is likely to significantly impact the workforce of tomorrow. College 1st’s team of mentors invited the students to think about the effects technology has had on their lives and the potential effects to come. It is widely known that advances in technology and trends toward increasing automation will fundamentally upend the way we work. Success in the digital economy will depend largely on the ability of workers to interact with technology. “This CAMP made me more aware of the various opportunities that come with pursuing a degree in the STEM Field,” said Alejandro Mejilla, Harlingen CISD student.

The College 1st Program’s unique curriculum prepares students for the largescale changes occurring in the economy. The program’s interactive, project-based approach has students engage transformative technologies like drones, robotic arms, and virtual reality inviting them to think critically about the ethical debates caused by the proliferation of these same technologies.

“I feel more prepared because I learned skills that I will need for the rest of my life,” stated Everardo Aguirre, Harlingen CISD Student. As the World Economic forum notes “soft skills” such as creativity, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration, will be essential for entrants into the digital economy. College 1st has embedded those skills into the CAMP activities for students to develop and practice.

Artificial intelligence, a hot-button topic in Washington and Silicon Valley, has the Harlingen CISD students intrigued. After learning about the first humanoid robot, students are rife with questions. Encouraged by the mentors to think critically and develop their opinion, students communicate their thoughts with clarity. These students may not know it yet but they are honing their skills as future workers of the digital age. For more information about the College 1st program please visit our website at www.college1st.org or call us at 1-877-499-8544.




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