EDINBURG Hundreds of South Texas girls and their mothers will learn that engineering and other math-and science-related careers are not just for males during Latina Day at The University of Texas Pan American Wednesday, Sept. 28.

Latina Day, day three of Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology (HESTEC) Week at UT Pan American, is dedicated to celebrating women in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Theresa Barrera, vice president of supplier diversity for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., will deliver the event's opening remarks and U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15) will give the keynote address.

Now in its 10th year, HESTEC's Latina Day will welcome to campus about 500 girls from 26 middle schools that have participated in GEAR UP, as well as their mothers, to hear from industry professionals in various fields from petroleum engineering to economics. Many of the panelists are UTPA graduates who were the first ones in their family to complete college.

Representatives from companies including Northrop Grumman, Toyota, IBM and Lockheed Martin will participate in the break-out sessions that tout female empowerment through higher education.

Throughout the day the girls and their mothers will hear stirring stories from women -- most of whom are bilingual -- who overcame barriers such as poverty and prejudice to become influential leaders in their careers.

Latina Day, sponsored by ExxonMobil, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Verizon, runs from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

HESTEC continues Thursday, Sept. 29 with Robotics Day, which will feature a regional flying drone competition among 60 high schools throughout South Texas.

For more information, visit www.hestec.org.