SHPE’s National Convention is the country’s largest gathering of Hispanic students and professionals pursuing their dreams in STEM fields. The Convention ignites the energy every member of the SHPE Familia: our members, our staff, and our partners, sponsors, and supporters.
Convention is not just a time to come together and build our networks. It is a time that SHPE members and our corporate partners turn to each other to devise new ways to pave the path forward into a new future for STEM in America. Judging by our Convention’s atmosphere, that future will be more inclusive and more innovative, and will be realized by the leaders forging their own paths through SHPE.
For the 2018 National Convention, with Visionary Sponsor Eaton, SHPE made some powerful and strategic changes to reflect our Familia’s growth. We offered five individual conferences within the Convention, aligned with our national programs: Pre-College, Professionals in STEM, Academic, SHPEtinas: Igniting Latinas in STEM, and Tech & Innovation. From these conferences, all of our members could find programming that sparked their specific interests. They could stick to one conference or pick and choose from the sessions within each.
The result was a Convention more robust and expansive than we’ve ever held before. The SHPE Familia truly embodied our 2018 theme, Better Together: more than 7,700 members came together to shatter all previous attendance records and imbue the event with enthusiasm and fearlessness.
“SHPE taught me how to talk to recruiters as if they are regular people. Going into convention, I wasn’t sure how to approach someone so successful and prove my worth to them. Now I am comfortable with that!”
Mechanical Engineering 30%
Computer Sciences & Engineering 20%
Electrical Engineering 10%
Chemical Engineering 10%
Industrial Engineering 6%
Civil Engineering 6%
Biomedical Engineering 5%
Aerospace Engineering 4%
THANK YOU to our 2018 National Convention Committee!
It takes a village! We’re so grateful to our talented team of volunteers who sacrifice so much of their time in order to ensure that attendees get the maximum return on their investment in the convention.
Some highlights from the 2018 Convention include:
- STAR Awards
- Pre-College Conference
- Community College Track
- SHPE Student Chapter Alumni Reception
- SHPEtinas Conference
- Tech & Innovation Conference
- Tech & Innovation Competitions
We also proudly recognized our 2018 SHPE Technical Achievement and Recognition (STAR) Award recipients during the Convention (full list here). These prestigious awards honor outstanding professionals for their dedication, commitment, and selfless efforts to grow and advance Hispanics in STEM careers. Honoree highlights include:
Eric Gordon, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District Superintendent, gave the keynote address for this conference, which is specifically tailored for SHPE’s youngest members. He was so impressed by the conference that he committed to starting a SHPE Jr. chapter at every campus within the school district.
Community College Track
Held within our Academic Conference, this was the inaugural year for this track, designed to provide community college student members with the resources and network they need to successfully transfer to four-year universities or prepare to enter the workforce.
SHPE Student Chapter Alumni Reception
This inaugural reception received overwhelmingly positive attention, offering an opportunity for recent graduates to reconnect with their SHPE Student Chapters and network with other students. Serving as a kick-off event for the whole Convention, we hosted a panel of recent alumni and provided time for attendees to mingle and network after the presentation.
This Conference, designed specifically for women SHPE members, provides comprehensive support to Latinas working in all areas of STEM. This year, we expanded the number of sessions, and all were at capacity. Many attendees remarked that the panels featured relevant and inspirational women, and that the Conference created a space for women to freely discuss their unique concerns while learning from other Latinas’ experiences.
Tech & Innovation Conference
In the past five years, SHPE members have been increasingly engaged in technology fields, bringing the power of SHPE to changing markets and evolving business models. To accommodate this shift, SHPE added this specialized Conference, designed to shine a spotlight on the latest technology in STEM. The Tech Talks were enormously popular with attendees, where industry leaders discussed cutting-edge technology strategies and innovative ideas.
Tech & Innovation Competitions
Housed within the Tech & Innovation Conference, another hands-on aspect of the Convention was our Competition series, where attendees test their skills in four different competitions for both prizes and bragging rights. Highlights from the competitions included:
Hackathon: One of the most popular competitions, SHPE members competed in teams to engineer and code technology solutions that would benefit everyone under the theme “Smart Cities for All.” Competitors were challenged to create a walking cane replacement, navigation for the visually impaired, curb avoidance for wheelchair-bound, a sign language translator, and vision for the blind using Vision Tech. Cash prizes up to $8,000 were awarded to the top four teams.
Extreme Engineering: This 24-hour competition simulates. an accelerated engineering working scenario, wherein students were challenged to design a voice-controlled furniture piece or appliance (IOT) constructed from raw materials. The teams put forward voice-controlled chairs, sofas, full smart kitchen counters, and even an automated doggie door. There were five individual winners, each of whom demonstrated tremendous leadership, motivation, and ingenuity, and one Extreme Engineer, who stood out for his technical and leadership skills, impressing his peers, mentors, and judges.
Nissan Design Challenge: Student members worked in teams to develop a new or enhanced technology feature on Nissan and Infiniti vehicles, which had to be safe and technically viable for use in mass production of luxury and economic vehicles within the next 3-5 years. Teams developed their ideas by leveraging the full resources available at the conference: industry experts, available studies, and the experience of the judges, and then presented them in a simulated professional environment. The top three teams were awarded up to $10,000, and the winners were also given summer internship offers with Nissan.
Engineering Science Symposium: Consisting of two main events, the Research Presentation Competition and Poster Competition, the Symposium unveils some of the most exciting advancements in engineering and science research conducted by SHPE members. Research presentations were given in conjunction with faculty presentations, which allowed us to cultivate a mentorship atmosphere during the presentations. Posters were set up in a high-traffic hallway to increase visibility, and presentations were made one-on-one between participants and judges. We awarded three winners in each category.
These event highlights only scratch the surface of the Convention’s success. The SHPE Familia’s response to the 2018 Convention was overwhelming—positive energy swelled throughout the event. Through this, we were able to crystallize our vision for the future of Hispanics in STEM. We are excited to take the next steps to become the fierce influence we are destined to become. Together, we can realize the innovative global workforce we are destined to lead.