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UW STEM Opportunities Abound for Wyoming Students This Summer

February 12, 2015
STEM summer camps
Students participating in the Healthcare Careers Summer Camp enjoy themselves at the University of Wyoming. Between May and July, UW will engage more than 700 Wyoming students in interactive and meaningful STEM experiences through residential programs and statewide workshops.

Approximately 700 middle and high school students -- representing all 23 Wyoming counties -- will engage in diverse STEM experiences at the University of Wyoming May through July. These programs are designed to inspire Wyoming’s youth to further pursue interests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

UW faculty, staff and accomplished students will deliver rich, hands-on learning activities to engage and motivate students; raise awareness of STEM-related careers; and highlight future opportunities at UW.

“At the University of Wyoming, preparation for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics begins long before college," says Chip Kobulnicky, a UW professor of physics and astronomy, and program director for the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp.

STEM is essential to Wyoming’s workforce and future opportunities for its youth. In addition, STEM promotes problem-solving and critical skills necessary for all jobs in the 21st century.

Programs include the Healthcare Careers Summer Camp, Engineering Summer Program, Energy Summer Institute, Summer Research Apprentice Program, Women in Science, Summer High School Institute, Wyoming Energy Camp, and Upward Bound Math & Science. In addition, the university’s statewide reach extends with the annual 4-H Showcase Showdown, as well as programs delivered through the Berry Biodiversity Institute, Science and Math Teaching Center, and Wyoming Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Center. Many programs are offered for little to no cost to the participants and serve students entering grades 6-12.   

The 2015 summer programming will be initiated with the Women in Science Conference, a one-day event May 19 that welcomes up to 500 Wyoming students to UW for a day of lab tours and hands-on workshops. The conference is designed to allow young women in grades 7-12 to learn firsthand about STEM careers from accomplished professional women. Registration is now open for Women in Science.

--Two camps -- the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp and Energy Summer Camp -- are available specifically for middle school students (sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders) in June. 

The ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp welcomes 48 students for an opportunity to immerse themselves in the physical sciences, biological sciences, engineering and technology, with opportunities to use UW’s two research telescopes, microscopes and computer-based simulations. The free, 10-day residential camp is open to all middle school students. Registration will open after official release from ExxonMobil.

--The Science Posse, Teton Science School, and School of Energy Resources have teamed for the Wyoming Energy Camp. Twenty-two students (grades 6-8) will travel to Kelly for five days (June 14-20) of active learning focused on systems thinking, electrical generation and engineering design. Registration will open March 24 at 7:30 a.m. There is a $100 fee. Need-based scholarships are available.

--The Summer High School Institute (HSI) provides up to 100 talented sophomores the opportunity to cultivate leadership skills and grow intellectually through a three-week residential program (June 7-27).  Students enroll in problem-based courses taught by UW faculty members. STEM-related course topics include robotics, engineering, computer science and human health. This year, HSI celebrates its 30th year, with a reunion July 31-Aug. 1. HSI has an estimated 3,000 alumni.

--The Energy Summer Institute welcomes 20 students for a five-day residential experience June 21-26.  Students (currently in ninth or 10th grade) will learn through inquiry-based labs, engage in technology-rich experiences utilizing the Shell 3D Visualization Center, and tour energy sites. Registration opens March 4 at 8:30 a.m. 

--Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) is scheduled June 7-16. This six-week academic and residential camp is open to students in grades 9-11, and provides students an opportunity to engage in science, computer technology, math, active research and college preparation skills. Students currently in Upward Bound are eligible to attend. 

--The Summer Research Apprentice Program (SRAP) is open to students who have completed their sophomore year before the program begins, current juniors and seniors, and/or students just graduating. SRAP is a six-week residential program that provide meaningful, hands-on experiences in science, mathematics, technology and/or engineering research (June 14-July 24). SRAP targets first- generation, college-bound students and underrepresented students (African-American, American Indian and Hispanic) in science. Applications are due by 5 p.m. March 6.

--The Artful Craft of Science Summer Camp is scheduled June 15-19 in Laramie. This one-week camp runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. daily and will provide up to 25 incoming fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders the opportunity to learn about chemical science through photograms (photography without cameras). 

--The Engineering Summer Program strives to inspire future engineers by offering short courses in various engineering fields (June 21-27). The weeklong residential camp for 11th graders includes field trips, lab tours and opportunities to develop problem-solving skills. Students may have the chance to build a digital circuit, study solutions to an environmental issue, program a robotic device and much more. Applications are due March 31. There is a $300 activity fee to attend.

--University of Wyoming Extension office will host the annual 4-H Showcase Showdown in Cheyenne June 25-27, with an anticipated 300 in attendance.  Students will compete in STEM-related events, including the rocket launch, robotics and animal science. 

--The Wyoming Area Health Education Center’s Healthcare Careers Summer Camp offers two 5-day residential programs for middle and high school students. Session 1 targets current sophomores and juniors, and will run July 5-10. Session 2 targets current eighth- and ninth-grade students, and will run July 12-17.  Each session will provide 40 students the opportunity to explore health careers through interactive workshops and earn American Heart Association CPR certification. Application materials will be available online Feb. 23. 

--Camp GEAR UP is a five-day residential program (July 13-17) that asks student to “experience the possibilities.” The program offers a variety of engaging and fun activities for GEAR UP Wyoming students on the UW campus and in the surrounding Laramie community. To participate, contact the GEAR UP Wyoming office located at any of Wyoming’s seven community colleges. 

--Finally, the Berry Biodiversity Institute, Wyoming Science and Math Teaching Center (SMTC) and Wyoming EPSCoR will host regional workshops throughout the state. The institute provides students opportunities to learn about pollinators, ecosystems and biodiversity. SMTC will provide students the opportunity to jump-start their science fair research projects through the “Building Capacity” statewide education campaign. EPSCoR is preparing for summer water workshops and the Moccasin Lake Challenge, hosted on the Wind River Indian Reservation May 23.

To learn more about any of these programs, visit the WYSTEM website at or go to WYSTEM website brings together educational opportunities in STEM for students, parents, teachers and other interested citizens.  

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