Iberdrola México, IER and UTVCO promote STEM education to trigger development in the southeast of Mexico

  • Impulso STEM will foster engineering study
  • Over 100 scholarships will be given to students in Oaxaca
  • More than 12,000 students will be benefited by the project
  • Iberdrola will invest $750 million dollars in two new plants in the Southeast and is planning other projects amounting to $1 billion

Oaxaca, August 21, 2019.- In order to support educational development in the southeast of Mexico,  Iberdrola México, the Institute of Renewable Energies  (IER – UNAM in its Spanish acronym)  and the Universidad Tecnológica de los Valles Centrales de Oaxaca (UTVCO in its Spanish acronym) launched this Wednesday the  Impulso STEM (STEM Drive), a program aimed at encouraging engineering study.

Impulso STEM aims at having a positive impact on the youth in Oaxaca through various lines of action that will allow to better meet the work market needs and increase the state’s productivity and competitiveness:

  • Training teachers and career counselors to optimize transfer of their scientific and technological knowledge.
  • Developing science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses (STEM) for elementary and middle-higher education institutions.
  • Communication campaigns to stimuli youngsters, mainly women, to study engineering.
  • Scholarship program for students interested in studying engineering to be successful from admission through graduation.

This program, with an initial investment of $15 million pesos, will have a direct impact on at least 100 public schools and more than 12,000 students in the Valles Centrales and the Istmo de Oaxaca regions. In addition, nearly 100 scholarships will be given during this administration for youngsters in Oaxaca interested in studying engineering to do so at the UTVCO, allowing them to get better work opportunities and contribute to the state’s development.

The Middle Higher and Higher Education, Science and Technology Coordination Department in Oaxaca will follow up the program to ensure that the acquired knowledge and tools are transferred to students.

“At present, the availability of professionals in STEM graduate curses is increasingly important for region development. It is important for us, as an innovation-centric business, to encourage a higher number of youngsters to pursue university studies in fields related to engineering, science and technology. The government, the academy and the private sector must combine efforts to achieve the development of the southeast of Mexico by supporting education”, pointed out Enrique Alba, CEO of Iberdrola México.

According to the Ministry of Public Education’s figures, the country will have a deficit of 20,000 engineers in five years; therefore, companies like Iberdrola México seek to arouse youngsters’ interest in STEM studies. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), currently only 27 out of every 100 men and 8 of every 100 women are admitted to university engineering programs.

“We intend to inspire more youngsters, mainly women, to follow STEM studies, which will receive the highest demand in the future and higher wages. We are sure that this will help career counselors and high-school teachers guide the talent of the people of Oaxaca in this direction; therefore, we undertake to work close to them to achieve this goal”, said Nydia Mata, principal of the UTVCO.

According to Mr. Antonio del Río, director of the UNAM’s Renewable Energies Institute, inculcating the value of scientific knowledge from elementary school must be a priority for the education system to educate individuals that will actively help in building a better future for the country. He emphasized that renewable energy sources help energy democratization and combatting energy poverty. Furthermore, he said that at the IER talent training with a gender perspective has been a priority and enabled the enrollment of more women than men at the Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering in Renewable Energies and post- graduate degrees at the IER.

Institutions agreed on the importance of scientific education and stressed their commitment to work in coordination with the Federal Government to trigger Mexico’s southeast development through socially-focused actions for the benefit of education.

Besides the Impulso STEM, Iberdrola announced plans to start the construction of two new power plants this year: one in Veracruz an another in Puebla, with an investment of $750 million dollars and added that it is considering projects in the region amounting to $ 1,000 million dollars as part of its initial social contribution to the Pacto Oaxaca, which was signed last week by President López Obrador, the Industrial Chambers Confederation (CONCAMIN) and nine Mexican governors.