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RUM, Engine-4 join to promote youth interest in STEAM branches

The University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus (known as RUM), and Engine-4 Coworking Space have signed an agreement to foster interest among youth, particularly pre-college students, in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).

“Through this agreement, we will share resources to promote the objectives of this entity that is focused on entrepreneurship,” said Agustín Rullán-Toro, rector of the RUM. “Located in the metropolitan area, this will give us the scope for a greater number of young people to have access to learning and to be able to know, firsthand, the importance that these areas of engineering and technology are essential for Puerto Rico’s economic development.”

“With this, we want to spark their interest and curiosity so that you can then consider coming to study at the Mayagüez Campus of the University of Puerto Rico. This is why I consider that it’s a very important alliance and that, ultimately, it will lead to more graduates of the institution,” added Rullán-Toro.

Luis Armando Torres, president of Engine-4 Coworking Space, emphasized the need to cultivate more scientists, planning to coordinate training sessions. 

“This encourages having a motivating ally for middle and high school students to pursue paths in STEAM areas. In addition, it gives us an opportunity to build a learning network as a prelude before they reach the university system,” he said.

Torres said the agreement marks a “significant step toward the motivation and training of future scientists and technology professionals. Engine-4, acting as a motivation catalyst, will arrange workshops and bootcamps to inspire these young people. This collaboration also seeks to address and improve the educational system gaps in Puerto Rico over the past 30 years.”

He added that, in a later phase, the partnership will focus on collaborative research and entrepreneurship endeavors in software, electrical, electronic and aerospace fields.

“A notable example of these projects is CubeSat, which will focus on tracking commercial aircraft using SAT, 5G and 6G technology, with direct mentorship from Collins Aerospace professionals,” he added.

Torres acknowledged the contributions of chemical engineering Professor Ubaldo M. Córdova-Figueroa and Moraima De Hoyos-Ruperto, professor at the School of Business Administration and director of RUM’s Business and Economic Development Center in facilitating the partnership.

“This partnership came about because Engine-4 has been collaborating with the business environment at the Mayagüez University Campus informally, helping us on different issues and projects,” said De Hoyos-Ruperto.

“This is why we decided to take the step and formalize it to continue this work together and for both institutions to benefit,” she said.

“This initiative is now part of the UPRM E-Ship Network, our business ecosystem that has already had a decade of alliances with different organizations, entrepreneurs, and entities to help innovation and entrepreneurship from the University,” De Hoyos-Ruperto concluded.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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