Team members note that the key to the Phoenix’s success is a link between the Hispanic culture and engineering.
“In the name of our organization, the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers, the most important words are ‘Hispanic’ and ‘Engineers,'” Enriquez said. “This event was a way for us to look into Hispanic culture. Plus, engineers are problem-solvers. We like to draw things then build them. This is a good experience for us.”
Hispanic students comprise 33 percent of CSULB’s total undergraduate engineering student population. They are the largest ethnic/racial group in the College of Engineering.
“This shift in demographic landscape anticipates that Hispanics will most likely be a driving force in California’s economic and political future,” said Lily Gossage for the College of Engineering’s Recruitment and Retention Center.
From these students’ perspective, the daylong flugtag represents more than a fun day at the seashore. It’s also an opportunity to learn more about engineering, represent their culture and serve as positive role models for others in their communities. They are the future in many respects.
“For me, participating in this project helped me to better understand time management and how to make sure that all the tasks are done in a timely fashion. I also learned to take advantage of networking opportunities,” Enriquez noted. “At the same time, we feel we are representing the Hispanic community. So, this is a big thing for us.
The team has already found success in part of the competition as the group announced it had won the Flugfilm Task of the contest. Their Flugtag film, which was directed by teammate Lopez, was selected for having the most creativity, humor and relevance to its Flugtag entry. The winning film can be found on YouTube at tinyurl.com/nvq3d3l .