By Edward Cardenas

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – Students from Detroit’s Academy of the Americas experienced first-hand Friday possible careers, and the applications of science, technology, math and engineering education, at AT&T’s HACEMOS National High Technology Day.

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The students were among more than 2,200 students nationwide who participated in the single day, multi-city, technology-driven event hosted by AT&T and its Hispanic/Latino employee resource group HACEMOS, along with General Motors and Samsung.

“(High Technology Day brings) awareness to the students in middle school and high school about the different technologies that we have available, and what they need to study in order to get those jobs when they get out of high school,” said Lou Solis, Michigan president for HACEMOS. “Children today have to go to school, go to college, to obtain those jobs and be able to produce the tools and toys they like to play and use today.”

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According to the National Science Foundation, Hispanics accounted for less than 8.5 percent of all bachelor’s degrees awarded in engineering in 2011. To help fill open STEM jobs, and inspire the next generation of STEM professionals, AT&T hosts these events along with HACEMOS investing more than $2.5 million in college scholarships.

During their visit to AT&T, the students were able to explore GM Connected Cars and speak with professionals about the “Internet of Things,” discuss the workings behind smartphones and learn how an AT&T employee came up with the idea for the DriveMode app to prevent texting while driving.

Students also toured the AT&T Detroit facility, learned about the company’s 4G LTE network and participated in a tele-presence call with students from other cities.

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“All of these eighth graders were very interactive, very interested, had a lot of great questions (and) had a lot of great ideas,” said John Mira, AT&T customer service care manager who helped organize the event that brought in professionals from AT&T, GM and Samsung to speak with the kids. “Many of the kids had a chance interact with the volunteers themselves and talked to them.”