Exploring Hydraulics and Hijinks with Club Latinitas

Here at Latinitas, we’re interested in letting our students grow starting at the STEM, and this week’s lesson was no different! Latinitas runs weekly clubs in schools in Austin and San Antonio for girls between the ages of 9 to 14, and I was lucky enough to visit the Latinitas at Widen Elementary for their lesson on hydraulics and how they work. 

Now hydraulics are no laughing matter, this is serious stuff, and if we were going to empower and educate our future leaders, we needed them to be focused. So naturally, we started Club off with a recess break, to let our students run around before getting down to the nitty-gritty. The students played tag and ran through some secret handshakes before coming back inside for the real deal; the hydraulics lesson! 

Our lovely Programs Leader, Alexandria Garza, started the students off with a simple question; What is an engineer? 

“They create stuff. An engineer tries to create stuff with a wrench.” One student explained. 

“An engineer is like a worker that works for somebody.” Another thought aloud. 

And though they were nearly there, Garza jumped up to go into a bit more detail, “Mechanical engineers design and create the machines that work with hydraulics.” Garza then flipped the slide, teaching the girls about Maria Cecilia de Castro Breda, a Latina and a hydraulic design engineer for tractors at John Deere. I got to see in real-time why representation matters, as one of the students raised her hand asking, “Does she work with for an engineer?” To which Garza happily replied, “No, she is the engineer.

Full article here!