SpaceX sparks local interest in STEM

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – The number of STEM jobs in the Rio Grande Valley continues to increase as more aerospace jobs arrive in the region.

Paragon VTOL Aerospace announced Monday that more companies are coming to the Brownsville area to help their infrastructure.

There is more scientific exploration than what is happening in the Rio Grande Valley; Harlingen CISD is one of many school districts with an entire science building.

“Anyone can learn any subject, it’s take what you know and what you learn and create and produce something else,” Linda Salinas, Project Lead the Way teacher at STEM Squared in Harlingen.

The STEM-focused school opened in Harlingen four years ago and since then has aroused scientific interest among students.

Children are naturally curious, which the school is designed to take advantage of.

“It’s a big ‘why?’ Why, why, why do I need to know this and how is it really going to affect me. They see it and experience it every day here at STEM, ”Salinas said.

It’s not a science class like most adults have grown up on. The hands-on collaborative approach allows students to learn and engage in a variety of studies organically.

“So many things related to all areas. We make art here, we build, we use saws, we use drills, they learn robots and automation, coding, ”Salinas said.

It’s one thing that companies like SpaceX and Paragon VTOL Aerospace are moving to the region and creating jobs in the field, the STEM school gives students a head start with a hands-on learning experience.

“We partner with the community, we take trips to SpaceX, we took our students to the Gladys Porter Zoo,” Salinas said.

They are more than just field trips according to Salinas. “In fact, we are doing research, we are developing solutions,” she said.

Salinas said interest in STEM has always been present in the valley, but jobs are often outside of town. This meant that the students had to choose between the home or the job of their dreams.

“Now, with the arrival of all these great companies, the opportunity is there. And, best of all, they can see what I need for this job, this field or this career, ”she said.

STEM Squared is open to all Harlingen CISD college students on request.

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