ExxonMobil awarded an $80,000 grant to University of Houston’s teachHouston program — a program the gives college students who want to be a math or science teachers guidance and support — so that underrepresented middle school students can attend the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp.
This is the third consecutive year in which the highly competitive grant has been awarded to University of Houston.
“Universities all around the country put in proposals to ExxonMobil, and then decide which university would be the most successful in hosting the camp. There are only 20 camps held per year,” Camp Director Paige Evans said.
This year, the camp’s focus will be on the need for alternative energy sources due to our reliance on fossil fuels.
The camp will accept 48 students who are entering the sixth, seventh or eighth grade by Fall 2012, scored well on math and science standardized test scores and received two teacher recommendations. The deadline to sign up for the camp is Thursday, April 5.
The campers will spend two weeks living in Cougar Village, going to the recreation center, attending presentations given by the top teachers in the math and science fields, visiting the Texas Learning and Computation Center, and various other excursions around campus. Campers will also get to meet a number of professionals who are interested in careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
“The camp is a chance for middle school students to get a taste of college life as well as gain more knowledge in the field they are interested in,” Evans said.
The students will also construct a home using alternative energy like wind, solar, nuclear, thermal and others. Robots, cars and other objects will also be constructed as the students experiment with the various forms of energy.
Students are also expected to take several trips off campus during their two-week stay. They will be visiting NASA, the Health Museum and the ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company Technical Training Center.
“Our job is to cultivate the next generation of innovative thinkers,” Evans said.
Six junior counselors who are previous camp attendees will oversee the camp, and the 12 other counselors are students involved in the teachHouston program.