Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by learning more about some of the many Hispanic and Latinx scientists and engineers who have made important contributions to science history.

Four Hispanic scientists and engineers to represent collection of 16 Hispanic and Latinx STEM profiles

Hispanic Heritage Month: Scientists to learn more about!

It is important for all students to learn about diversity in STEM. This includes celebrating the stories of women in science, African American scientists and engineers, scientists with disabilities, and scientists from around the world.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we highlight a few of the Hispanic and Latinx scientists and engineers who made (and are making) important contributions to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The list below is only a sampling of noted scientists through history and working in STEM fields today.

Learn More about these Hispanic and Latinx Scientists and Engineers

To encourage your students to learn more about these scientists and to explore related science projects and careers for scientists they find interesting, for each scientist, we have included a short biographical summary, links to 1-2 hands-on science projects related to the scientist's area of study, links to relevant science career profiles, and a link to a biography.

Note:Educators can use this career worksheet to guide student exploration and reflection about STEM careers.

  1. Scientist: Luis Alvarez

    1. Luis Alvarez, physicist

    Luis Alvarez was a physicist whose research included particle physics, radar, and nuclear science. He developed multiple radar systems during World War II, worked on the Manhattan Project, and was involved in the development of a liquid hydrogen bubble chamber, which enabled detection of subatomic particles. Alvarez won the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physics. (Biography)

    Interested in nuclear science and physics? Learn more with science projects like: Particles in the Mist: See Radioactive Particles Decay with Your Own Cloud Chamber! Stealthy Shapes: How to Make an Aircraft Invisible to Radar, and Build Your Own Radon Detector

    Learn more about related careers: Physicist, Nuclear Engineer

  2. Scientist: Helia Brava Hollis

    2. Helia Bravo Hollis, biologist and botanist

    Helia Bravo Hollis was a biologist and botanist whose research focused on the collection and classification of cacti in Mexico. (Biography)

    Interested in plant science? Learn more with science projects and activities like: Dissect a Flower, A Toxic Test: Can Plants Be Genetically Resistant to Heavy Metals? and Hydroponics: Gardening Without Soil

    Learn more about related careers: Plant Scientist

  3. Scientist: Franklin Chang-Diaz

    3. Franklin Chang-Díaz, astronaut

    Franklin Chang-Díaz is a mechanical engineer and astronaut. As the first Hispanic NASA astronaut, he was involved in seven space shuttle missions, including Columbia and Endeavor. (Biography)

    Interested in mechanical engineering and space science? Learn more with science projects like: Bottle Rocket Blast Off! and Catching Stardust

    Learn more about related careers: Mechanical Engineer, Aerospace Engineer

  4. Scientist: Carlos Juan Finlay

    4. Carlos Juan Finlay, epidemiologist

    Carlos Juan Finlay was an epidemiologist who discovered that yellow fever was transmitted by mosquitoes. (Biography)

    Interested in epidemiology and public health? Learn more with science projects and activities like: Model How Herd Immunity Works, Fighting the Flu: How Your Immune System Uses Its Memory and BLASTing Flu Viruses

    Learn more about related careers: Epidemiologist, Physician

  5. Scientist: Nicole Hernandez Hammer

    5. Nicole Hernandez Hammer, environmental scientist

    Nicole Hernandez Hammer is an environmental scientist and advocate whose research centers upon climate change and the impact of climate change on sea level. (Biography)

    Interested in climate change and environmental science? Learn more with science projects like: Polar Puzzle: Will Ice Melting at the North or South Poles Cause Sea Levels to Rise? Is it Getting Hot in Here? Investigate the Greenhouse Effect, and Rooftop Gardens: Are They a Cool Idea?

    Learn more about related careers: Climate Change Analyst, Hydrologist

  6. Scientist: Scarlin Hernandez

    6. Scarlin Hernandez, aerospace engineer

    Scarlin Hernandez is an aerospace engineer working on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. (Biography and video (NASA))

    Interested in space science and engineering? Learn more with science projects like: The James Webb Space Telescope's Amazing Multiple Mirrors and Sunshield and Satellite Science: How Does Speed Affect Orbiting Altitude?

    Learn more about related careers: Aerospace Engineer, Mechanical Engineer

  7. Scientist: Bernardo Alberto Houssay

    7. Bernardo Alberto Houssay, physiologist

    Bernardo Alberto Houssay was a physiologist who shared the 1947 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his research (after the discovery of insulin) on the role of pituitary gland hormones in carbohydrate metabolism. (Biography)

    Interested in endocrine science and human biology? Learn more with science projects like: Blood Sugar Balancing Act: How Exercise Tips the Scales, Lactose, Sucrose, and Glucose: How Many Sugars are in Your Smoothie?, and How Sweet It Is! Measuring Glucose in Your Food

    Learn more about related careers: Endocrinologist and Biochemist

  8. Scientist: Cesare Lattes

    8. Césare Lattes

    Césare Lattes was a physicist who researched cosmic rays, nuclear physics, and atomic physics. Lattes is credited as one of the discoverers of the pion, a subatomic particle that contains a quark and an antiquark. (Biography)

    Interested in atomic physics? Learn more with science projects like: Rainbow Fire and Watching Nuclear Particles: See Background Radiation Zoom Through A Cloud Chamber

    Learn more about related careers: Physicist, Nuclear Engineer

  9. Scientist: Susana Lopez Charreton

    9. Susana López Charretón, virologist

    Dr. Susana López Charretón is a virologist whose research on rotavirus identified the ways in which it enters the body (separate from the ways it is commonly transmitted). (Biography)

    Interested in virology and human biology? Learn more with science projects and activities like: How Do Viruses React To Soap? and BLASTing Flu Viruses

    Learn more about related careers: Microbiologist, Epidemiologist

  10. Scientist: Ynes Mexia

    10. Ynes Mexia, botanist

    Ynes Mexia was a botanist and plant collector whose field expeditions included traveling along the Amazon River. During her career, she collected more than 150,000 plant samples and is credited with discovering more than 500 new species. (Biography and video (PBS American Masters))

    Interested in plant science? Learn more with science projects like: Plants on the Move! Experiments with Phototropism, Propagate Plants Without Using Seeds!, and Dissect a Flower

    Learn more about related careers: Plant Scientist and Agricultural Technician

  11. Scientist: Cesar Milstein

    11. César Milstein, chemist

    César Milstein was a biochemist who shared the 1984 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (with Niels Kaj Jerne and Georges J. F. Köhler) for research related to antibodies and the immune system. (Biography)

    Interested in human health and biology? Learn more with science projects like: What are the Odds? Modeling the Chances of Getting an Autoimmune Disease and How Are Antibodies Used for Blood Typing?

    Learn more about related careers: Medical & Clinical Laboratory Technician, Health Educator,

  12. Scientist: Mario J. Molina

    12. Mario J. Molina, chemist

    Mario J. Molina is a chemist whose work helped identify the negative effect of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) (in aerosol sprays, for example) on the Earth’s ozone layer. Molina shared the 1955 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with F. Sherwood Rowland and Paul J. Crutzen. (Biography)

    Interested in chemistry and environmental science? Learn more with science projects like: Mapping Troposphere Ozone Levels Over Time and It's Raining, It's Pouring: Chemical Analysis of Rainwater

    Learn more about related careers: Chemist, Environmental Scientist, Climate Change Analyst

  13. Scientist: Adriana Ocampo

    13. Adriana Ocampo, planetary geologist

    Adriana Ocampo is a planetary geologist at NASA. Her research led to the discovery of the Chicxulub impact crater in Mexico (the site of a meteor impact theorized to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs). Ocampo has worked on numerous planetary imaging projects, including the Viking mission to Mars, the Voyager mission, and the Galileo mission. (Biography and video (NASA))

    Interested in astronomy? Learn more with science projects like: Craters and Meteorites, Using a Digital Camera to Measure Skyglow, Asteroid Mining: Gold Rush in Space? and Planet Hunters TESS

    Learn more about related careers: Astronomer, Geoscientist

  14. Scientist: Ellen Ochoa

    14. Ellen Ochoa, astronaut and engineer

    Ellen Ochoa is an astronaut and engineer and was the first Hispanic woman in space on the space shuttle Discovery in 1993. She logged almost 1,000 hours in orbit and went on to serve as Director of NASA's Johnson Space Center. (Biography)

    Interested in astronomy and engineering? Learn more with science projects and activities like: The James Webb Space Telescope's Amazing Multiple Mirrors and Sunshield and Protect Your 'Eggstronaut': Build an Egg-Drop Lander

    Learn more about related careers: Aerospace Engineer

  15. Scientist: Severo Ochoa

    15. Severo Ochoa, biochemist

    Severo Ochoa was a biochemist and shared the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physiology for discovery of a bacterial enzyme related to the synthesis of RNA. (Biography)

    Interested in biochemistry? Learn more with science projects like: Forensic Science: Building Your Own Tool for Identifying DNA, Genetically Modified Organisms: Create Glowing Bacteria!, and Computational Exploration of Protein Function

    Learn more about related careers: Biochemist and Microbiologist

  16. Scientist: Evangelina Villegas

    16. Evangelina Villegas, chemist

    Evangelina Villegas was a chemist whose work centered on cereal grains and the genetic engineering of wheat and maize with improved nutritional content to help fight malnutrition in areas around the world. (Biography)

    Interested in agricultural technology and genetic engineering? Learn more with science projects like: Genetically Modified Foods and A Sweet Sequence: The Cacao Genome

    Learn more about related careers: Plant Scientist, Food Scientist or Technologist, Agricultural Technician

STEM Career Worksheet

To encourage students to learn more about these scientists and to explore related careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, use our free STEM Career Worksheet along with this post.

If you use the "Get Inspired by these Hispanic Scientists and Engineers" post and career worksheet with students, we would love to hear your feedback. You can email us at scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org with your comments or story.



Note: Individual scientist photos used in this post are in the public domain with exception of Helia Bravo Hollis (Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 4.0), Nicole Hernandez Hammer (Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0), Mario Molina (Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0), and Evangelina Villegas (CIMMYT, CC BY-SA 4.0)



You Might Also Enjoy These Related Posts:

Free science fair projects.