Summer offerings at Rensselaer continue to provide individuals of all ages with an opportunity to explore and develop their passions and interests through a variety of programs. This year, more than 2,500 elementary, middle, high school and college students from the Capital Region and beyond, along with working professionals and K-12 teachers, immersed themselves in a plethora of credit courses, academic short courses, sports camps, and enrichment programs.
“Rensselaer continues to be committed to preparing students to successfully pursue STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] careers,” said Cynthia Smith, assistant dean of students and director of pipeline initiatives and partnerships. “We believe the process starts long before a student reaches college. We are also working to build a national network of K-12 pipeline partnerships within the Institute and beyond that focus on identifying, nurturing, and providing educational development of women and underrepresented minority groups.”
Throughout the academic year and into the summer, the Dean of Students office hosts several pre-college initiatives for K-12 students, including the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp, the STEP program, PREFACE, and the NYS5STEM program. The office also works with organizations around the country whose students are interested in pursuing STEM careers. This year, students participating in DOSO programs focused on investigating the origins of life on Earth and the conditions that lead to the formation of habitable planets in our own and other solar systems, introduction to electronics, manufacturing processes, and engineering design, as well as themes related to biotechnology, nanotechnology, energy security, and national security, among others.
Additionally, for the last five years, the Academic Outreach Programs office within Undergraduate and Graduate Education has offered numerous programs. Sample programs included: a variety of literature, communication, writing, and physics courses; undergraduate research opportunities, and 14 summer enrichment programs for elementary, middle school, and high school students. This year, more than 417 individuals registered for enrichment programs and 1,478 enrolled in credit course offerings.
“Summer@Rensselaer is all about continued growth and new program offerings designed to attract more students to campus,” said Mike Gunther, program manager for recruitment. “Within the summer programs, students of all ages have an opportunity to pursue academic, research, extracurricular, creative, and professional interests that may provide them with necessary skills and knowledge to advance their education and expertise in a specific field.”
From working alongside Rensselaer faculty to unlock the secrets of how plant proteins convert light into energy to exploring the origins of life on another planet to using LEGO MINDSTORMS robot technology to teach that science and engineering can be fun; from getting a head start on college courses to traveling on faculty-led study abroad opportunities; from learning the art of acting to participating in customized short courses and professional development programs, from researching the role of electrical stimulation of nerve tissue as a means of encouraging cell growth to honing one’s teaching skills in the science classroom, student had an opportunity to recognize needs, visualize solutions, and initiate change that could have a potential future impact in every realm of society.
For more information on summer education programs, go to http://summer.rpi.edu.
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