HTHS Students Showcase Skills at Pre-College Engineering Conference

(Secaucus, NJ––November 16, 2021) High Tech student members of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) participated in––and took home first place in the design challenge at––the SHPE Virtual Pre-College Conference in October, announced Ms. Kathy Young, Principal of High Tech High School.

The Virtual Pre-College Conference, which took place from October 28–30, began with the Students Advancing in Learning Stem (SAILS) portion of the program, where high schoolers heard from experts in the field of engineering on about their careers and were able to solicit advice from current college students. Day two of the program engaged students' skills, as participants were given just ten minutes to create a design that solves the problem of a fictional toxic spill. Solution in hand, students then needed to demonstrate their ideas before the other attendees. Students from ten schools across the US––including Texas, California, Florida, and Massachusetts––participated, but it was the High Tech team that took home the first place award for their design solution.

Led by SHPE club advisor Ms. Sabrina Vargas, the HTHS winning team included seniors Youssef Salem, Emily Leiras, and Mohamed Bengabsia as well as juniors Mikael Fernandez, Jaden Bradley, Niklas Tseng, Ciaran Kellaghan, Mikayla Washington, Sebastian Dominguez, Anthony Ramirez and Alexandra White.

Of the group’s quick-thinking, Ms. Vargas said, "I am very proud of my students for being able to think on their feet and use the short amount of time to put together a prototype that was successful!"

The annual Pre-College Conference invites high school-aged members of SHPE and their community, including students, their families and educators to undertake a litany of activities designed to cultivate awareness, self-efficacy, and identity in STEM settings. The ultimate goal of the conference is to provide students, parents, and educators with appropriate and robust support for the pursuit of STEM higher education and careers. You can learn more about the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers by visiting

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