By Samantha Sonner, KRWG News
New Mexico State University is offering many different opportunities for students to participate in STEM education over summer vacation.
The New Mexico State University PREP academy offers middle and high school students the opportunity to live at NMSU for a two-week camp and participate in a variety of engineering activities.
Patricia Sullivan, Associate Dean College of Engineering at NMSU it’s designed to bring students in the STEM field and give them an experience of what it’s like when they are in college.
“We wanted to get them involved in project based activities,” Sullivan said. “Where they can actually take math and science and use it as a tool to actually accomplish something, so we wanted to get them involved in things where they can do something with their hands, actually do engineering not just study it.”
Deizel Lovato, an 8th Grader from Hatch, New Mexico says he had a great experience at the camp and wants to continue studying engineering in high school and college.
“I would have to say my favorite was the air force research lab,” Lovato said. “We built rockets, put together circuits, made our own little badges that light up, it was really fun.”
NMSU’s STEM outreach center also put on 9 summer day camps for students throughout the month of June. Their aerospace camp ended with Hot-air balloon rides for the students.
Kassi Simpson, Program Coordinator with the STEM outreach center says the goal is to make learning fun.
“This is a really inquiry based informal education setting,” Simpson said. “So, the kids are learning to actually love learning, and love science and my ultimate goal is for them to leave camp with a positive experience of education, which isn’t something they always receive in the public school system. And so, they are going to leave camp having experienced really positive things with science, engineering, technology and math, and they are going to feel that they are really capable to doing those things because of these experiences.”
7th grader Freddy Barncastle says he was really excited to learn new things.
“It was really interesting,” Barncastle said. “I loved going into STEM camp because it was really interesting and I got to learn new things. And the things that I learned actually might help me out whenever I grow up, and I’m really excited that I was able to ride a hot-air balloon.”
All of the camps offered at NMSU were free and had students on a wait list.