This summer, more than 450 elementary, middle, and high school students have had the opportunity to explore and develop their passions and interests through a variety of programs coordinated by the Office of Outreach Programs at Rensselaer. The summer enrichment programs provide students with access to resources, mentorship, and an interactive experience in science, engineering, technology, the performing arts, and athletics.
From discovering the beauty of architecture to building model airplanes, from exploring the field of the physical sciences and engineering to learning the fundamentals of video game development and even the art of acting, students got a first-hand look at future career opportunities. Program participants came from the Capital Region, New York state, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, and Puerto Rico.
“As a premier technological research university, Rensselaer has a very important role in educating and informing school-age children about new and emerging scientific endeavors,” said Prabhat Hajela, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education “We believe that such engagement can be fostered through the excitement of discovery and learning in hands-on, immersive experiences. Our summer enrichment programs are therefore designed to introduce students to new concepts and principles at a level that is both instructive and fun.”
The programs offered for elementary, middle school, and high school students included: Architecture Career Discovery Program, ASM Materials Camp, LEGO® Robotics Engineering Academy, Computer Game Development Academy, Young Actors Guild, Why Plastics?, and Rensselaer Football Camp. New programs developed for this year included: The Magical World of Flight, Video Production Through the Eyes of the Lens, Whodunit? The Science of Crime Scenes, Creative Writing, and VEX Robotics Engineering Academy.
“I decided to create a program focused on aeronautical engineering as a way to expose young students to the field through a variety of interactive exercises,” said Michael Amitay, assistant professor in the department of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering and the program developer for the Magical World of Flight. “When you give young students a chance to explore a technical field in a fun way, this may spark their interest to learn more about the field.”
“Summer is an exciting time to be at Rensselaer, a place where enthusiasm and innovation are the very hallmarks of our programs and classes,” said Kim Scalzo, director of outreach programs. “Within our programs, students of all ages, adults, and working professionals have an opportunity to pursue academic and professional interests that may provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge to advance their education.”
Summer@Rensselaer offers credit, academic short courses, sports camps, and enrichment programs for elementary, middle school, high school, and college students, as well as adults and working professionals. This year, more than 1,000 individuals enrolled in programs developed for the summer semester. Programs covered a range of topics, including engineering, science, mathematics, computer science, management, leadership, professional development, and research opportunities, among others.
Launched two years ago, more than 2,000 individuals have participated in Summer@Rensselaer programs. The expanded summer programs are supported through Rensselaer’s Outreach Programs within the offices of Undergraduate and Graduate Education.
For more information regarding Summer@Rensselaer, go to: http://summer.rpi.edu.
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