SHPEing Lives

GCC chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers make an impact

Glendale Community College hosted their third annual Maker Faire on March 17, put together by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) next to the Sierra Vista building.

Early in the morning the volunteers gave each attendee a drawstring backpack with information about the program, a free shirt, and a lunch ticket for In-N-Out. This year Scarlet Galvez, president of SHPE, was the event coordinator and it was her first time planning the Maker Faire.

“I definitely had other struggles since I did not get the chance to participate in the past two GCC Maker Faire events,” said Galvez. “The most difficult part for me was figuring out what to do and in what order.”

Galvez, a mechanical engineering major, joined SHPE in Fall 2016 where she got the position of historian and then became president in Fall of 2017.

“This is my first time organizing an event and the fact that we planned for at least 300 people made me quite nervous,” said Galvez.

“SHPE changes lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support and development,” reads the mission statement on SHPE’s website.

With plenty of lectures and workshops, SHPE was ready to showcase all their inventions and teach the attendees something new about engineering and space. From having a space escape room to making slime they had different options to attend to. Once lunchtime arrived, it gave the students who were showcasing their inventions time to put them together.

In the conference room by the Student Center, the students and organizations displayed their robots and other inventions. You got to see an LED chandelier to a 3D printing machine. The attendees had the chance to test out some of the robots and machines they had there. Even had the opportunity to sign up their children to a summer camp that has a different lecture and workshop every day.

What seems to be the most popular lecture was titled “How to Get to Mars, and What to Do When You’re There,” presented by Armen Toorian, instructor of engineering at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Everyone was interested in the new rover that would be sent to Mars in 2020 and how it would get there.

There was also a workshop that most adults and little kids were interested in. The solar bug kit and sphero was a hands-on workshop where the attendees created their own little car toy that ran on solar power. Once they were done they were able to keep it as a memory and show off their creations.

SHPE is not only a club to some but the members feel like family. Students can expect to learn and even experience academic career development. The focus is not just on “building robots” but on how to improve their resumes, networking, and learning new set of skills.

“One can be an engineer, but SHPE has taught me how to become a professional engineer,” Galvez said.

Carolina Diaz can be reached at [email protected]