About > News

Bridging Access to Opportunities at the San Ysidro STEM Fair


Last month, members of RICK’s San Diego office all attended the third annual San Ysidro STEM Fair.

RICK was one of over 30 exhibitors introducing children and their families to engineering through an interactive EnviroScape Watershed Model.




“The RICK team was able to demonstrate the rewarding nature of a career in civil engineering and its positive impact on our communities. Many of the kids had not been exposed to the profession before, and some of the students stayed at our booth for hours, listening and using our water quality model. The enthusiasm and joy expressed by these kids reminded me of when I was young and first discovered the fulfilling career path of a civil engineer.”  —Rodrigo Soler, Associate Civil Engineer Designer


In addition to visiting RICK’s booth, fair attendees had the opportunity to engage in hands-on STEM activities tailored to students at this free, equity-centered event hosted by the San Diego Fleet Science Center. The fair featured learning demonstrations led by college students from organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, researchers from UCSD’s Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, & Teaching Excellence (CREATE), San Ysidro High School’s Cougarbots robotics team, and engagement with local scientists and career role models from local companies like RICK. Children and their families also enjoyed community art, resources, a science-themed race around the field, raffles, and giveaways.


STEM fields are anticipated to experience rapid growth in the next decade. However, there is a gap persisting in the architectural, engineering, and land planning workforce. There is a clear need for increased representation in students pursuing STEM degrees and careers who live in historically underrepresented communities, such as San Ysidro; not because of this wide gap alone, but because innovation is intrinsically tied to diverse human experiences.

Outreach opportunities found at events such as the San Ysidro STEM Fair are effective solutions to this challenge. They provide exposure to engineering and other STEM fields for students in grades K-12, and they empower students, teachers, families, and the community to access career opportunities in these fields.




Connecting everyone to the power of science takes commitment and collaboration. The San Ysidro STEM Fair is a testament to the power of an equity-centered approach and honors the community’s bilingual (English/Spanish), binational, and bicultural strengths. Initiated by San Ysidro SciPhy Teacher Liana Davis and chaired by the Fleet Science Center, this event was tailored to the San Ysidro community, ensuring accessibility for all. RICK was truly honored to play a part in acting out their mission.


“What started off as a pilot/experiment in 2022, based on the aspiration of a San Ysidro teacher, has grown tremendously. This year, we welcomed over 2100 people to the event with long lines of eager families. In 2022, we had 1400 attendees at Smythe Elementary as a point of comparison.”  —Yanet Lopez, San Ysidro STEM Committee Member and Community Engagement Manager at Fleet Science Center


Thank you to all the volunteers who took the time to spark excitement about STEM careers in the community’s youngest members. Your positive impact is making a significant difference!