San Antonio PREP students learn about truck assembly at local Toyota plant

PREP students

PREP students visit the Toyota assembly plant in San Antonio

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(July 29, 2013) -- Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas officials and engineers welcomed students in the San Antonio Prefreshman Engineering Program (PREP) to the assembly plant last week for a guided tour and presentations on the company's working environment and manufacturing methods.

During the visit, the students learned about working on an assembly line by participating in an interactive session building mini pickup trucks using LEGO pieces.

The visit wrapped up with a question-and-answer session for the students with Toyota engineers discussing the educational and career paths that led them to the company.

Established in 1979 at UTSA by mathematics professor Manuel Berriozabal, SA-PREP provides high-achieving students (particularly minorities and females) excelling in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with instruction to prepare them for careers in those areas.

The program has been replicated across the state as TexPREP and across the nation as PREP-USA. Nearly 16,000 students have completed at least one summer component. Overall, PREP programs have served more than 34,000 students. Historically, 80 percent of PREP graduates attend college.

The seven-week program for middle and high school students took place on nine local university campuses this summer.

At 1 p.m., Wednesday, July 31, more than 1,300 will participate in the 35th annual PREP closing assembly in the Convocation Center on the UTSA Main Campus.