This month, the School of Engineering is hosting the 38th Annual Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering (SECME) Summer Institute and sponsor the SECME National Student Engineering Competition Finals, in partnership with the UAB Office for Equity and Diversity.

SECME is a professional development institute dedicated to focusing on equity in science, technology, engineering and math initiatives by bringing together K-12 educators, university faculty, and industry and government representatives to share the best in their fields of expertise. Students are able to be involved in the institute through participation in the engineering competition finals.

This year's SECME Summer Institute will begin June 22 with about 120 K-12 educators from around the nation who will reside on campus for a week of professional development workshops in STEM to enhance student achievement and interest in these subjects.

"The goal of the week's events will be to help promote inclusion in learning in STEM fields, and that is something we value at UAB," said Hassan Moore, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering and outreach director for the School of Engineering. "We look forward to hosting these important discussions and learning from experts from across the nation."

The educator workshops are delivered by SECME Master Teachers, faculty from UAB's schools of Engineering and Education, and many other SECME university and industry partners. The Alabama State Department of Education, along with representatives from other states' departments of education, will also be in attendance to help teachers integrate the new content into their classrooms in alignment with state teaching standards.

From June 25-28, nearly 100 middle and high school students from across the nation will join the institute for tours and workshops. The participating students have won local or regional competitions or earned the opportunity to compete on the national level.

The highlight of the students' stay will be the middle and high school SECME National Student Competitions in VEX Robotics Engineering Design and Mousetrap Car Engineering Design. These intense competitions, which include not only design and construction but technical reports, team interviews and more, will take place June 26 from 1:30 to 6 p.m. at the UAB Campus Recreation Center.

University, industry and government partners will also join the event June 25-28 for the STEM Pipeline Diversity Summit, where workshops will focus on strategies and research in STEM education and college access — especially for women and minorities, who are underrepresented in STEM careers and majors. SECME will recognize its National Teacher of the Year Award recipient on Friday, June 27, at the UAB Alumni House.

Founded as the Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering in 1975, SECME was the vision of engineering deans from six Southeastern universities who sought to diversify and expand the talent pool for their institutions. Today, SECME is a nonprofit alliance that extends to 42 engineering universities, more than 50 school systems, and industries and agencies in 15 states, the District of Columbia and Grand Bahamas. SECME's mission is to increase the pool of historically underrepresented and underserved students who will be prepared to enter and complete postsecondary studies in STEM, thus creating a diverse and globally competitive workforce. SECME provides teacher professional development and coordinates student STEM competitions across the country.