Texas high school students attend chemistry, engineering and forensic science summer camps

August 22, 2013

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Students from Texas attend Summer Camps

PLATTEVILLE, Wis.­­­ — High school students from Houston, Texas, have been traveling to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville this summer to take part in three different camps. The students receive hands-on experience and college credit for successfully completing the courses.

“Of the 13 students who traveled from Texas, 11 of them were awarded scholarships, enabling them to attend our summer programs,” said Dr. Chanaka Mendis, UW-Platteville chemistry professor and chair of the chemistry department. “This is a great opportunity for these students.”

Schlumberger, a leading supplier of technology, integrated project management and information solutions to customers working in the oil and gas industry worldwide, along with the assistance of Rod Nelson, a 1980 mining engineering alumnus, funded two of the scholarships.

UW-Platteville has offered the Explore Engineering Summer Program, which gave participating high school students hands-on experience in eight engineering disciplines, math and chemistry. Students attended classes and labs in the state-of-the-art Engineering Hall.

The Chemistry and NextGen Tech Summer Program offered students the opportunity to develop the core skills needed to be successful in a college-level chemistry class. Students participated in several course sessions and laboratory sessions, giving them hands-on experience through several activities.

“This camp has not only reinforced my chemistry knowledge, but also helps me understand what the college experience is going to be like,” said Michael Hunter, a senior from Energized for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics Academy Inc., in Houston. “Every day we have lecture and lab sessions, but we also have free time to get to know other students and have fun.”

"A number of faculty and students from the chemistry department played a huge role in making this a success,” said Mendis. “Dr. June Li, Dr. Roger Gurira, Dr. Jeff Buboltz, and Dr. Joseph WU provided instructions for the students. Chemistry majors Ashlynne Wampfler, Joseph McKillip, James Kivel and Melissa Weilnau assisted the students in multiple capacities through out the camp.”

UW-Platteville also offers the Forensic Science Camp: Crime Scene to Courtroom, allowing students to explore crime scene investigation, evidence analysis and the justice system and get practical experience and utilize state-of-the-art technology, including the UW-Platteville Forensic Investigation Crime Scene House.

This is the sixth year that the forensic science summer camp has been held at UW-Platteville. Faculty who were involved this year included Dr, John Rink political science; Dr. Joseph Wu, chemistry; and Diana Johnson, forensic investigation/criminal justice. Each professor was assisted by students from within the respective major area.

“I am extremely happy to see how well the camps have progressed and how much the students have enjoyed them,” said Aric Dutelle, associate professor of criminal justice and forensic investigation program coordinator, who was involved with the recruitment efforts in the Aldine School District and was part of the proposal and implementation process for this summer’s camps. We have several Aldine students within the forensic investigation program and they are a refreshing addition to the courses and program.”

Samir Hassam, Bruce Westbrook, Yamilex Jaramillo, Daniel Benavides, Eduardo Martinez, Luis Andrade, Lizette Saenz, Yesenia Gonzalez, Reyna Hernandez, Jonathan Umanzor, Zachery King, Isabel Galvin and Michael Hunter, all from various high schools and academies from around the Houston area, attended the camps.

Written by: Eileen McGuine and Dan Wackershauser, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194

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