Hello, my name is Uzziel Fernandez, and will be facilitating the Explore Engineering program at Casa Hidalgo during the Fall of 2017. I am a current Junior at The Illinois Institute of Technology pursuing a Bachelors in Civil Engineering. In my free time, I enjoy running, playing video games, and just hanging out with my younger brother.

My story on how I came to work with Project Exploration is really interesting. I took part in the Ten80 curriculum program while in high school and I loved it. I was always so engaged and loved everything about the program. Mainly because it involved a lot of STEM. During my junior year in high school from 2013-2014 my team and I competed in the City Wide Championship and were able to place 3rd. It was the first year the program was at Gage Park High School where I graduated, and we were proud of ourselves. My senior year of high school 2014-2015 I took part of the program again and we competed in the City Wide Competition again but that year we placed 1st place in Chicago and qualified for the National Competition. We went on to compete in the National Competition and placed 9th out of 24 in the country. Two years later, Jackie asked me if I would like to facilitate a Ten80 program, and I loved the idea!

I am excited to be part of the team because I want to be able to help other the ways I was helped during high school by the amazing facilitator who lead out program and all of those who supported my team and I. I don’t want the students to just learn new things but I want them to have fun while doing it. I facilitated the Explore Engineering this summer and even though it was my first time facilitating any program it was such an amazing experience. I had the utmost support from all the Project Exploration team members. I plan on following the Ten80 curriculum but also adding a lot of small science projects since many of my previous students loved hands on science projects and asked for more. Even though I have run the Explore Technology program once, I feel like there is still so much for me to learn, but with my previous knowledge on facilitating the course, I plan on giving the students an experience that they cannot find anywhere else.

Written By: Uzziel Fernandez

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