June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Minorities in Engineering
FFFF university in partnership with the FFFF hosted a two-week, on-campus, STEM camp during summer(s) 2014, 2015, and 2016. The program objectives were to improve students’ skills in mathematics; expose students to real-world math and its application in related career fields; increase the students’ awareness of STEM fields; expose students to processes that will increase their likelihood of being accepted into post-secondary institutions; expose students to practicing professionals in STEM fields; and create potential internship opportunities for camp participants. A system was designed and implemented that would assist the selection committee in identifying academically talented and motivated students that would be eligible to participate in the camp. The rigorous selection process resulted in the annual selection of forty plus applicants from an annual pool of over one hundred students. The average GPA for the camp participants was 3.8. Eighty percent (80%) of the participants were from underrepresented groups (Black or Hispanic descent) of which forty-one percent (41%) were males and fifty-nine percent (59%) were female. In terms of grade level, twenty-six percent (26%) were 9th graders, thirty-three percent (33%) were 10th graders, and forty-one (41%) were 11th graders. In addition to what we would call the core camp participants who made up the demographics mentioned above, the committee decided to conduct a pilot program and admit students who were not performing as well academically and had been involved in a supplemental educational program; namely, Cacho Academy. The average GPA of this sub-group ranged between 1.8 to 2.5. They were selected based on five (5) guiding principles. This paper will describe the overall experiences and results of the broader camp as well as the outcome(s) and manifestations that resulted from the Cacho youth attending the camp. This paper places special emphasis on highlighting the improvements gained by the Cacho participants in terms of their performances on measured skill sets. In the end, it is hoped that the results from this study, particularly the way it was designed, will be useful in assisting others who might want to move the fence in terms of deciding who gets to be considered in the STEM arena.
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