Guatemalan University Invites CEAS to Enhance STEM High School Education

By: Shannon Frohme
June 26, 2015

UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science professor Jeffrey Kastner and academic director Eugene Rutz jumped at the invitation to help implement a STEM-based high school outreach program at Universidad Del Valle de Guatemala (UVG).

After attending professor Rutz’ webinar on the College of Engineering and Applied Science’s high school outreach program, UVG’s Director of Administration, Luis Farlan, reached out to Rutz to learn more about its potential impact in the Guatemalan educational community.

Landing in Guatemela on June 1, Kastner and Rutz presented the CEAS high-school outreach program to the dean and department heads of UVG”s engineering school. The following day, they presented the program details to five local high schools, including two all girls’ schools.  The next few days they visited these five high schools to discuss implementation of the program.

Enthused conversation during dinner with UVG faculty on the last night left Rutz and Kastner feeling very optimistic about implementing a program similar to UC’s, in each high school.

Keen on the “work hard, play hard” philosophy, Kastner and Rutz found time to climb the magnificent and recently-active Pacaya volcanic site, as well as visit the historically-rich and scenic city of Antigua.

Dr. Kastner is currently in the process of planning a study-abroad experience for CEAS students to interact with UVG and local high-school students, as well as explore and learn about Guatemalan culture for the upcoming 2015-16 school year.

Looking towards the future of the international expansion of the high-school outreach program, Mr. Eugene Rutz says, “By replicating the CEAS model of working with regional high schools in Guatemala, the material we use will likely be translated to Spanish by the UVG collaborators. We can then provide this as a resource to local students and their families.”

UVG also looks forward the future of working side-by-side with the College of Engineering and Applied Science, “La UVG estará gustosa de recibirles nuevamente en el 2016 y trabajar en equipo para el beneficio de la educación guatemalteca.” Translated to, “UVG will be glad to welcome you again in 2016 and work together for the benefit of the Guatemalan education.”